Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stolen Life

This past weekend my sweet cousin Maggie's boyfriend was killed.


By a drunk driver. 


On his way home from work.


A week before Christmas.


I got the text first thing Saturday morning that it had happened at 4am, and my uncle was boarding a flight from Louisville to go see Maggie in Charleston. To hold her and let her cry. To love her and spend as many hours as he needed to with her. To get her food or blankets or movies. To make her take a shower or change clothes. To let her scream. For some reason there are times when only a dad can help. And this was one of those times. And I hope that it's innate in every dad to know when his time to rise up is here, because you don't always have the strength to ask for him.


Maggie and Quentin had been together for 7 years. They went to Alabama together, then moved to Charleston together. Spending 7 years with Quentin made him more than just a "boyfriend" to Maggie. He was her best friend. Her biggest supporter. Her other half. The one she told everything to. The one that inspired her dreams. And just because he's gone doesn't mean that she doesn't need those things anymore, or that any of those feelings go away. If anything she needs more of that than she ever thought possible. But how do you truly grieve? How do you move on from something this catastrophic that turns your world upside down?


Right now I don't have a box to put this experience in. Maggie and I are the same age, just three months apart. We grew up together. And Patrick and I have been together for about as long as her and Quentin. And I simply CANNOT wrap my mind around losing my best friend. The one person who knows what I'm thinking without me having to say it. Who knows when I need a hug or a pat on the back or a cheeseburger and a coke. Or when I'm fighting back tears or trying not to laugh. Without Patrick I would be devastated. And no love from anyone else could really make the pain of losing that life-long counterpart bearable. 


Right now all I know to do is pray. Even though I'm mad and angry and sad and torn-up over one of the biggest blessings of my sweet cousin's life being stripped from her without warning. I'm praying that there'd be peace. That there'd be justice. That people would love her better than they've ever loved her before. That Quentin's family would still claim her as their own. And one day she'd be able to meet someone who would fulfill all of those desires again. That would turn her world upside down. And cherish her the way Quentin so wonderfully did.


Quentin you will be dearly missed.



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