today's memory is from one of my long-time college friends, kwaku. he, of course, got the chance to know Jarronn through me. but he -- like many of my guy friends -- formed his own friendship with Jarronn along the way.
on july 23, kwaku shared two memories. the first had me cracking up, and the second made me shed a tear:
When Jess first told me about Jarronn
When I first got hired by the Department of Education, I would travel around the country and talk to students about financial aid. One of my trips took me to beautiful Newark, New Jersey (there is nothing there). I tried to figure out who I knew in the area, and Jess came to mind. We decided to meet up for dinner and catch up. While we were eating, Jess started talking about this guy she was dating. I didn't know who the guy was, so I instantly started hating (which is my nature). She spoke about how good of a guy he was and how happy she was. She told me that if I was able to meet him, I would like him. Like I said before, I am a hater, especially when it comes to guys around my female friends. Fortunately for Jess, she was correct. When I met Jarronn, he was probably one of the coolest guys I ever met. He was down-to-earth and relate-able and loved to laugh (he laughed at every one of my jokes). He made it difficult to hate on him. I could understand why Jess was so in love and wanted to share her happiness with everyone.
Jarronn and Morgan
One of my favorite moments with Jarronn was when we were all over at Mike and Ashley's place for a small get together. Of course I brought my daughter with me, because you can't leave a 4-year-old home alone. If you met my daughter, you know she is initially very shy but tends to warm up to people over time. For some reason she was instantly cool with Jarronn. While everyone else was talking about politics and other non-important things, Morgan and Jarronn were laughing and joking all night long. By the end of the night, I literally had to drag Morgan home, she was having so much fun. I know for a fact that Morgan would have been bored to death if it wasn't for Jarronn.
When Jarronn died, I had to explain to my daughter what happened. It was probably the hardest conversation I have had with her to date. She told me that she was going to pray for Jess and Jarronn. I thought she was just repeating what she heard other people say when you talk about death. But later on that evening, she prayed without any encouragement that Jess would be OK and that God would take care of Jarronn. To my knowledge, that is first time I heard Morgan pray about anything other than food. It is funny how big of an impact you don't realize people have in the life of a child until they are not around.
thanks for sharing this, kwaku. i don't think i'll ever forget when Jarronn realized just how funny you were and felt the need to tell me about his discovery. :-) thanks for keeping me laughing through the tears. and please hug morgan for me!
if you'd still like to send me your memory or photos about Jarronn, you can at any time. email firstname.lastname@example.org.