College is a stressful time in a young person’s life. It’s hard to get through a day without a mental or emotional breakdown. But then I remember, life could be worse. I need to appreciate every moment I have of my life, and every moment I get to spend with my loved ones.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007. I remember that specific day crystal clear. We were at a basketball game in Decorah. I was sitting there with my friends, laughing having a good time. A slow hush came across my classmates as we were all siting there watching the game. Of course the message got passed around from student to student. Finally it got to one of my friends. She looks at us and says, “Ty died”. We sat there not believing what had happened. We were all in denial. We continued to ask our other classmates to see if it was really true.
It was the longest basketball game of my life. We finally jumped into my dads vehicle after the game to drive home. We looked at him and said that Ty had passed away. My dad thought it was just rumors as well. As we were almost back to town, we had to pass by the Riehm residence to get to our house. Lights were on everywhere, but no one was there. We just went home and waited for the next day to come.
When we arrived at school the next morning the each teacher received an email in which they were told to read aloud to their classes. It had actually happened. No one really knew what to say. Our class was told that people were gathering in the library to sit and talk or be alone. Almost everyone in our grade gathered into the library. We created a memory book. People stuck in money, gum, anything that reminded them of him. We sat in silence for a while. Played a few songs that would help us through.
I can’t listen to the song “My Old Friend” or “I’ll Be Missing You” without it bringing a tear to my eye.
And now there’s another song that always reminds me of you.
I had known Ty since we were little. He was always that little shit at bowling that would make me so mad. But we were still friends. In study hall he would always ask me for a piece of gum. Never failed. Mr. Kruger would always yell at him for talking. Study hall was never the same. Even Kruger missed yelling at him. It’s those little things you never forget.
Ty May be gone. But he will never be forgotten. See you again someday buddy!