He was smart.  Super smart.  And, even though the competitive side of me hated to admit it, he was smarter than me.  In raw numbers, he had me by about five IQ points.  In breadth of knowledge, he had me cold.

He loved to build things-things that always behaved like they should.  He loved to make things stronger, better.  He was a talented builder.

He was generous.  He built a huge, positively ginormous, crafting table/cubby/how-can-that-many-shelves-exist-in-that-space for his mother.  And he still wasn’t happy he couldn’t have done more.

He was romantic.  He made one of my good friends, Myra, feel pretty and amazing and as fantastic as every girl should feel.

He was a pleasant conversationalist, if you could get him to converse. He was willing to admit lack of knowledge and open to learn.

He was also cocky.  He didn’t try to be–he just didn’t know how else to be.  We had social awkwardness in common.

He kept the friends he made, loyally.  He wasn’t great at making friends, but you knew when you were one of them.

He went on those conversational bunny trails with me happily.  He called it chasing ducks.

He was very particular about how he dressed, but not because he was vain.  He dressed to show respect to the situations he was in.  He felt it very important.  And he always looked put together.  I will never look that put together.

He was considerate.  He opened doors, paid attention.

He desperately loved to dance.  He always wished he could dance longer and more frequently.  But he hated to dance with people he knew–it made him uncomfortable.

He hated hugging.  He had a HUGE personal bubble that only disappeared when dancing.  But even then, he would hug if one was offered, because he knew they were well and lovingly meant.

He used to fence and had to give it up because he destroyed his ankles.

He desired to be better.  Where he failed socially and personally, he strove to change.

He died on Monday.  I could say a lot more about him, but I don’t think now is the time or the place.  I’m glad to say that I don’t have any regrets with this friend.  I am blunt to a fault and so was he–we accepted that about each other and didn’t try to take the edge off our social awkward because we knew what the other meant.  When he asked my honest opinion, I gave it, untempered.  When I asked him, he did as well.  I told him good things.  I let him know he was appreciated.  He complimented me honestly and openly.

Ours was the kind of friendship I hope everyone can have.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was honest and loyal.

So today, in remembrance of this friend, tell someone you love what you think is understood.  Tell them they’re amazing or beautiful or pretty or funny.  Tell them you’re glad they’re around.  Say the words unspoken, because there won’t always be a chance and they might not always be as understood as you think.

You still have time left.  Use it.