Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day Eighteen: Leonard

I just wanted to write a little something about my cousin Leonard.  Three years ago today, he was released from the pain of his battle with cancer.  I'm not going to dwell on how he died, but how he lived.  He was the youngest of my first cousins.  I was there the morning he was born, doing my English homework in the waiting room while waiting for my grandmother to take me to school.

He was one of five babies born in the span of ten months in my family.  My mom had twins, her next youngest sister had twins, and then, Linda, Leonard's mom had him, her only child.  The five of them were like a miniature gang--a handful to say the least.  Leonard was a total camera hog; he created the photobomb before it became a word, and he loved to dance and sing on camera. 

He always did well in school, but I think his favorite activity was marching band.  He started out playing saxophone (like me) and rose to the position of drum major.  He traveled and competed with the band and made up elaborate routines to perform before and during the games, pep rallies, and parades.  He would sing in our church choir, as well as, a local youth choir where he became friends with many of the students I taught.

I'll admit the two of us were equally stubborn, and we would occasionally butt heads, but it's to be expected of family.  He was like another little brother to me, which often meant dancing on your nerves, but you love him any way.  He had an infectious laugh, and he never met a person who didn't become his friend. 

He was able to make a lot of life out of his 26 years, and I miss him every day. I try not to think of his last days, but rather the days before.  I mourn for what he could have become.  He was working as an educator before he passed, and I think he would have been an excellent teacher. The day he passed, I remember hearing John Mayer's "Say" playing on my way to work.  I hope I was able to say everything I needed to say to him.  I hope he knew just how much we all loved him. 

Until next time, "No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories."~Chris Sorensen

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