I’m sure this isn’t the post anyone checking our blog is waiting for at the moment (sorry about that). However; It’s important to me, and I needed to post it.
9 Years ago Yesterday (Monday May 17th 2001) Marion NY lost one of its most beloved young men: Randy Miller. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that close with him in the later years of our shared educational experience, but we were both perfectly friendly with each other. We simply shared different groups of friends. I do remember during the last few years of high school we would share a ritual almost every morning, and when I think of it now it still makes me smile.
When he first passed, it hit the whole town hard. I’ve never seen so many people show up in support of the loss of a loved one. The largest church in Marion was standing room only and overflowed into the stairwell and parking lot. Everyone felt it because it was so shockingly sudden and happened in such a horrific & terrifying way while during such a noble act.
The toughest fact to swallow is that Randy drowned while trying to save his friends who weren’t as strong of swimmers. Honestly, I can’t think about that without tearing up a little bit. I can’t think of anyone else I know that would put themselves last in such a way.
While Randy died young, he certainly didn’t leave this world without a lasting imprint. Until his mother recently started posting on Facebook I had totally forgotten he was so into poetry. He’s been published by the International Library of Poetry twice! I also remember him getting some of them in the local Marion/School publications. For being so young, he certainly had a deep outlook on life. This is one of my favorite poems which I stole from his Facebook page:
a crooked man walks a straight path,
a path of hopes and dreams.
he walks ahead without thinking twice or so it seems.
as he walks the path he proceeds to
his final destination without once falling through.
yet as he completes his journey, this voyage of his,
he knows the importance was not the things he didn’t do,
but the things he did.
I don’t know why but I get much more sensitive about the whole thing now than I did back then. Back when it happened, it just felt like a terrible thing that happened to someone I knew. For some reason now it hits me hard this time of year and this year harder than it has in the past. Maybe that’s just me imposing my own mortality on the past because of our little one on the way? I don’t know.
I hope some day I’ll be half the man Randy Miller was at the age of 19.