Today would have been my friend Greg’s 38th birthday. Greg and I met through City Year back in 1996. Fresh out of high school. He was always the kid on the team who looked like a “hot mess!” In City Year, we learned that as a team member it was our duty to uphold City Year’s standards, which included shirts tucked in, name badges on, and pants crisply ironed. I can’t tell you how many times Greg got sent home or written up for showing up with his shirt hanging out, no name tag, clothes all wrinkled, and shoes practically untied. I can still picture the look on his face when Danielle, our team leader would reprimand him. That blank stare like, what did I do? His voice would go up an octave or two as he questioned her.
He was always cracking jokes, making silly faces, imitating Adam Sandler or Jerky Boys stand up, and just being a plain goof ball. In fact, I remember the time him and Dwayne got kicked out of a meeting for laughing. The two never said a word to each other! They just looked at each other and got in trouble.
You develop quite a relationship with the people you work with on your City Year team. Even if you don’t keep in touch much after, those are special friendships you don’t forget. Greg and I kept in touch here and there in the years after City Year. We would visit or chat on the phone from time to time. I remember one conversation when I asked him, “Do you ever make up your own skits for Saturday Night Live in your head?” Absolutely he did! As we discussed our dream to be cast members one day. He always made me laugh. With Greg I could be my silly self. When I remember him it always brings a smile or a chuckle. I can hear his voice vividly.
Yet, every once in a while I will have dreams of him. In my dreams he is always quiet and gives me a hug, a kiss on the forehead or holds my hand. Sometimes I wake up crying but mostly I feel comforted. It feels nice to have a visit from him. Makes it seem like he’s not so far away. Today, on his birthday I would like to keep his memory alive and share this poem I wrote for him.
Sometimes you can ignore it
Sometimes you can forget it exists
But only for a little while
Then it comes back
Some days you go on
Pretending it’s all a dream
Then one day you wake up
It hits you
Not in the face
Not in the stomach
In the heart
It’s not a bad dream
And it hurts
And i cry
And i remember the silly voices
The funny faces
And i laugh
And i smile
And the pain subsides
But only temporarily
And now i look forward to my dreams
Because it is there that i get to see you
It is there that you now visit me
And you hug me
And you kiss my forehead
And for that one moment the pain is gone
And you are here
6 thoughts on “Greg”
Tears. So beautiful.
Omg!! Every time I read one of your blogs I find myself wanting more!! I’m a reader, I love a great book or a good story, even a nice poem. You my dear have made my first priority every morning to check my email to hope I have received one from “Ginger”. I am so happy you started this. I look forward to reading so many more of your blogs. You are such a great person and always have been. Keep up the good work, I think you may be able to make a living out of this down the road. ❤❤❤❤
Thank you. I love writing and sharing about my friends. I feel like sharing this keeps Greg’s memory alive.
this is very moving and very beautiful… especially your poem. I am sorry for your lose…. Michelle
Thank you. I just write from the heart.
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from the heart if the only way… lovely work.