Javaris Brinkley: 4.24.1994-3.7.2011
The days are long, but the years are short.
It’s still difficult to believe that you left us two years ago. It’s still hard to believe that you’re actually not here anymore. You know, now that your classmates are in college, it’s easier for me to believe that you’re on campus somewhere too; studying, having fun, learning, fulfilling your life’s potential and purpose.
But that’s not true. And there’s many a day where I gaze at the picture of you and your classmates in my office, which I keep as a reminder of who I love and who I serve and why I choose to do so in this way, and just wish that it were different.
But it’s not. And it’s still tough to deal with.
We (those of us who love you here- and there are far too many to name) have good days and bad days. There’s the happiness we feel as we think of how much joy you brought to our lives, but there’s also the sad reminder that all we have are memories. We are able to fondly look at pictures of you, living life to the fullest; but we’re saddened because we didn’t know that our time together would be so short.
We think of you often. I know I do. I think you’d be proud of your classmates- they’re all doing so well. The girl that you loved so dearly, she’s blossomed into an even more amazing young woman who is leading many with the same love and exuberance that made you fall for her in the first place. She took it really hard- we all did. But she dug deep, and there’s a light there that wasn’t there before. Thank you for being her light. The school where you spent so many hours of your most precious life- it too has blossomed. There are now little ones on campus, not much younger than your baby sister; and they learn about you as they have PE class in the gymnasium named in your memory. You were such a wonderful member of our Pride. And an even more wonderful part of our lives.
A lot has changed in two years. But one thing hasn’t- we still miss you.
Author’s Note: I also wrote a “One Year Later” reflection on missing Javaris. You can read that here.