When I think about tragedy and its association with comedy, and how you must understand them both to be truly appreciative of either, I think of Justin.
August 25, 2007. Just another day, the first week of school. It was hot out, but really dry at the same time. It was my best friend, Justin, sister's birthday. Lunch time rolls around and everyone gets in their cars and race down to the local IGA to get food. Justin hops in the car with his friend Clint and two other guys from our class. They head out of town.
I was sitting in Spanish class. Usually Justin met me by our lockers and we went to class together. He didn't show up, or to our next class. I was mad at him, he didn't show, and I expected him to. As I left class Justin's sister came up to me "Justin was in a car wreck" "I figured" was all I could reply, and walked away. He had broken his ribs, but the principle said he was fine.
I was worried but I went to volleyball practice anyway, my coach seemed indifferent. I was scared the rest of the evening, but i continued to the rodeo where I was to sing the National Anthem. I was walking with my friend Jackie, and her younger brother ran up and told me Clint had died. Complete shock, it is the only way to describe it, the blood drained from my limbs and I was completely numb. Jackie punched her little brother. What could I do, I just had to sing, Jackie came with me and held my hand.
I went home that night, I found out Justin was placed in intensive care in Billings, my mother promised to take me there the next day. I did not sleep that night.
The next day I had a volleyball tournament, I got on the bus and everyone was silent...until I sat down. Suddenly the rumors were flying Justin was in denver, his lung was punctured, they took out his spleen, he had been life flighted...there was nothing I could do. Finally I called my friend Myles who was there with Justin, where ever he was.
Justin was on a breathing machine, Myles said. He was in Billings, and he was fine. He had woken up and Justin's father and Myles had spent some time with him. He was weak, and the only thing he could do was move his hands. They said he would make an L with his finger then point to his face, and scribble things in the air. He did this over and over again. He was getting frustrated until finally they figured out what he was saying. L-I-Z. He wanted me to know he was okay, that he was alive, and he wanted me there. All I could do was cry in relief
We flew up to Billings as quickly as our car would take us. We rushed to the hospital, Myles, our friend Kim and I embraced as soon as we saw each other and just held on to one another. Finally I went up stairs. Justin's parents had not seen him that day because they wanted me to beable to see him.
The walk to his room was done as quickly as possible, but took forever, a sense of doom came upon me, up until I saw his face. We looked at each other and broke down. "Don't cry Liz, I'm fine, Please don't cry" which of course made me cry more. All i could do was hold his hand and stroke his hair.
A horrible tragedy, a young life was lost, just as the most horrible of all tragedies are, however if there is one thing that I learned from this, it is that love matters, platonic, lovers, it does not matter, as long as it is present, just as in the Symposium, love is all. To appreciate the good there must be bad, for me I know I love stronger, because of my justin and the tragedy that hit us both.