High School was literally the worst time of my life. Being forced to attend an institution of hormone fueled, awkward, and mostly nasty teenagers was one of the most terrible experiences I have ever had. I remember being beside myself about having to spend time there and my mother saying, “These will be the best years of your life!”

They weren’t, Mom.

One of the things I actually didn’t mind about the hideous stage of teen was working at the local supermarket – which is where I was blessed to make friends with someone very special, Mr Andy Doyle.

I remember Andy in Fresh Jive jeans that any of us would probably fall over walking in if we tried to rock them during our adult years. He wore a red baseball hat, t-shirts that hung to his knees, and had superior musical taste. He rode a skateboard and gave the best hugs.

Andy is one of the reasons I survived High School. Yesterday I found out he passed away, suddenly and unexpected.

We were meant to get together when I travel stateside in two and a half weeks because we both agreed that it’s been far too long.

I am fortunate to have a large Facebook posse of fellow dream chasers. But truth be told, I can’t keep up with life via Facebook. Which became painfully evident last night when I travelled over to Andy’s page to say I couldn’t wait to see him in a few and was met with friend after friend paying their respect.

He passed away May 3rd.

Dear Andy,

I’m trying really hard to stop crying because everyone who knows and loves you is aware that you’d hate that. I’m sorry I’m so late paying this respect but you know me, always a few steps behind. Your kindness, laughter, and glow is one of the few happy memories I took with me from my younger years. Try not to¬†outshine the other¬†angels with your beaming divinity. See you down the line.

Love always
gretchen.

(photo credit: Jim Volinski)