black and white photos of toddlers

An Indelible Mark

An old friend of mine passed away unexpectedly recently. He was just 36 years old. He left behind a wife and a 6-year-old boy named Roger – after his favourite tennis player. He was something of a dab hand himself. I watched him play tennis in the junior division at Wimbledon in 2006.

Unfortunately, we drifted apart over the years. I went my own way – to University in the UK, then onto Australia to learn how to fly before returning to Hong Kong. He went on to study in the United States on a tennis scholarship, where he remained.

Still, he was a significant part of my life at one stage. In fact, he was someone I once called my best friend during one of the happiest periods of my life. My late childhood growing up in Hong Kong.

We spent countless hours building treehouses, riding our bikes, having sleepovers, etc. I remember playing in his backyard one time. In a spectacular display of coordination, I miss-kicked a football and stubbed my foot on a brick wall. Oh, how he laughed. To this day, I have a white line that runs down the middle of my right big toe where I cracked it!

Of course, heโ€™s not the only person Iโ€™ve lost touch with over the years – but he is one of the few I regret. Part of me always held on to the belief that one day we would reconnect, our paths would cross again, and we would reminisce over simpler times. Itโ€™s for that reason I never reached out.

Knowing what I know now – how I feel – if I could rewind the clocks to just a few short weeks before he passed – a day even – I wouldnโ€™t hesitate to reach out and let him know that he left an indelible mark. One that will stay with me till the day that I die.

The world was a better place with him in it. Indeed, my world was. Whenever you are, if you can hear these words, may you rest in peace.

You will be missed.

35 thoughts on “An Indelible Mark

  1. My first thought was a big ouch for the toe. The second is, “He knows.” Even though he isn’t here in the physical world, you can still speak to him and express your gratitude for the gift he was to you when you were close. Blessings to you. ๐Ÿ™

  2. That seems like a very young friend to me.

    Good reminder to connect often with the ones we love, and prepare for what awaits. We are not guaranteed the next breath!

  3. What an excellent way to honour a friend, the way you do, by drawing us a picture of your friendship through your words.
    Life on earth is such a short journey and fragile, as they say. We never know when it’s over.

    1. Thank you. Life is precious. We never know when the gig might be up. Don’t wait to say what needs to said. Life is too short for that. ๐Ÿ™

  4. A beautiful tribute of your friend. My husband had a friend suffering from cancer and he wrote him a letter telling him how much he meant in his life. He asked our neighbor (the friendโ€™s brother) to take him the letter in hospice. He was too late.

    1. Heart breaking. The expression of those sentiments are still important – if only for the party left standing. Thank you for sharing. ๐Ÿ™

  5. So very sorry for your loss, AP2…but this is exactly how you keep him close…by sharing your sweet forever memories of him with us. Thank you.

  6. Sorry to hear about your friend AP2, but I enjoyed reading this tribute and I appreciate the reminder to stay in touch with those we love- although I do also agree with Juliaโ€™s comment – โ€œhe knowsโ€.

  7. Iโ€™m sorry for your loss. Time and distance donโ€™t diminish true friendships. I hope you may be comforted by the thought that youโ€™ll meet again. Friendship magnetizes Souls.

  8. Iโ€™m sorry for your loss. Iโ€™m sure your friend knows what an indelible mark he left on your life – as you no doubt left an indelible mark on his as well.

  9. Many people who float through our lives, some for a short time and others longer, leave a lasting foundational mark we often don’t realise until later on. Thank you for sharing this story and these memories of your friend.

    My brother and sister and I often don’t message each other as much as we should (we get on really well and look forward to catching up, rather than not contacting because we are unsure.) Your words here are a reminder to reach out to those people who we have cherished time with.

    Thank you, for your words, and your care of others through your shared stories. Peace be with you my friend. ๐Ÿ™

Leave a Reply