In my therapy session this evening, my counselor asked me to name some characteristics of Sean that were descriptive of how I remember him being. For each attribute I named, a memory accompanied it. I think about him every day, and I wanted to share these memories that I have while they are still fresh in my mind.
Sean was Kind: When it came to arguments, he never yelled. Not with me anyhow. The two times he was snappy with me included an allergic reaction to an anti-nausea medication, and a severe (eventually fatal) brain hemorrhage. I think I'll give him a pass on those...
Sean was Considerate: He consulted me about everything. Whether it was how I was doing after being told he had recurred again or what movie I wanted to see that weekend, he made sure to include me in his life in every way possible.
Sean was Mischievous: I'll always laugh at the looks on his sisters' faces when they tell me the stories about how he poured pickle juice on them in the shower. I'll always remember laughing so hard when he told me the story about how he had to speak to police officers when he was 6 because he got caught up in a game of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" with a girl from class (really? come, on they're in 1st grade!) And I'll have a constant reminder of his mischievous antics in front of my face every single time I look at Sophie, who has a very distinctive devious little smirk...and it ain't her mama's!
Sean was Funny: He made me laugh. I love laughing, and I loved his sense of humor. "If I was a dog, I wouldn't even drink beer!"
Sean was Smart: I remember when he and I were dating, I told my mom that he was probably smarter than me, which wasn't something I had ever found in a boyfriend before. She agreed. He was witty, intelligent, and bright. His ambition to become a doctor was infectious and he constantly made me want to do things to better myself.
Sean was Not Stubborn: Or if he was, he wasn't anywhere near my level. I'd like to believe that we had a good system of compromise in our relationship, but truth be told, he relented to me, not because he felt frustrated or stuck, but because he loved me, and recognized when something was important to me, for whatever reason.
Sean was a Fighter: Sean fought each day like he truly had something special to live for.
Sean was Determined: He was determined to remain strong for me, his family, and his friends. He was determined to knock cancer on its ass, and did so many many times throughout his 3 year battle. He was determined to leave an impression on the world, and he was determined to always seek greater things out of life.
Sean was Hopeful: He was always hopeful that the next treatment would be the one to cure him forever. He was always hopeful that there was a next treatment. And he was always hopeful that there was a bright future waiting for him after he had put his disease behind him. His hope gave me hope in all of those things too, and from him, I learned how to hope for things for myself after he was gone.
Sean was Loving: There wasn't room for hate in his heart because his entire being was taken up by love. He loved me, passionately. He loved his parents and his sisters vehemently. He loved God and gave his life to Him in so many ways. And he loved his children with all of his being from the first idea of their conception to his very last day on this earth. Also, he loved football. This is very important.
Sean was Protective: Stephanie, I'm looking at you. I remember when we happened to be in the neighborhood on a Friday evening and decided to stop by and say hi to all of you, and there you were, out on your driveway with a big group of big guys. The look on your face as you saw us drive up was priceless. The look on Sean's face was...terrifying. He was adamant about your protection, about keeping boys way from you, and about locking you up until you were 30. If he knew you were in Florida right now, we'd all be in for it!
Sean was Outgoing: He did, after all, make the first move.
Sean was Charismatic: Especially with children. He wanted to be a neurologist and find a cure for his father's disease, but children were drawn to him like he was covered in sugar-dust or something. He would have made an amazing pediatrician, and had a natural knack for getting kids to bust out great big belly-laughs.
Sean was Spiritual: He looked to God for answers, and always directed me to do the same.
Sean was Existential: We used to have loooooooong conversations well into the night along with his roommate, Trevor, about why were are here on this earth and what our purpose is, and how we rationalize our free-will along with God's plan for our lives. These were some of the greatest nights of my life.
Sean was Playful: He was game for almost anything. We once drove along State Street after dark, trying to hit the red lights, so that Trevor, riding in the passenger seat wearing a truly gruesome-looking Halloween mask, could slowly turn and peer into the window of the car stopped next to us. I've never laughed so hard in my life, and some of those people probably had the shock of theirs! He did normal things too, like build snowmen with me in the winter (although he did instigate some pretty competitive snowball fights), dye all of his hair red for a Utes game in Las Vegas, and wrestle with his parents' German Shepherd, Rio...who was just his size.
Sean was Intuitive: He had a great sense of things. He could read people...particularly if they were full of it. He had a great sense of me and who I was, and he always knew just what to do or say to set me back on track. Not meaning to say that I was full of it...
Sean was Understanding: He was gracious and patient which translated into him being one of the most empathetic and understanding people I've ever known. Nothing about people seemed to shock him, and if it did, he acted like it didn't matter, which it didn't.
Sean was Non-Judgmental: He understood that people are human, and that whatever mistakes a person made in their life was part of their human experience. He simply loved, and left the judgment to a higher power.
Sean was A Million Other Things: He was an oldest child. He was 6'3. He was born in March. He was my best friend. He was an xbox geek. He was a handsome devil. He was a movie fiend. He was amazing.
I'm always in awe of how much life this man packed into 3 short years with me. I'm even more amazed at how much love he packed in there as well. It was effortless for him, and I'm grateful to have had him as an example in my life. Today is not a special anniversary of anything, although it is Kyle's birthday, so there's that. But it's not a special day where I remember the love and friendship I experienced with this man. It's every day.