Two years ago, I lost a brother and friend.
Jon Oddi was someone who still brings a smile to my face.
I miss his laugh, his smile, his silly dance moves and how he always brought joy to those around him.
He was someone who loved me at my worst and loved me at my best.
As the years go on, I miss him more. I have missed not being able to talk with him, to laugh with him or sit on my roof and talk.
I miss not having someone who I could just be around for hours.
But as the years have gone on, through his death, I have realized the importance of love.
To love someone enough to ask the hard questions, to get to know how they are really doing and to leave nothing unsaid.
To love others so deeply and make sure that they know how loved, valued and important their life is…how irreplaceable they are as a person.
This being said, know that you are loved, just as you are, wherever you are. That your life matters and you matter. There is no one else like you and you are a gift.
As the years have passed, I have learned about life, about others and how important each and every single person is.
As the years have gone by, I have learned about grieving, about loss and about stepping forward even when it’s hard.
It hasn’t been easy, it’s been heart breaking to have to work through something you wish didn’t happen.
And although my heart is still healing and missing a piece, I am thankful for what I have been able to learn through these years and most of all learn from a life of a man who brought sunshine wherever he went. Where he was himself and loved those around him so deeply.
Jon can never be replaced and is someone who all those who knew him, loved.
May you love all those in your life and may you continue to see how others are doing. If you are someone who isn’t doing okay, never be ashamed to talk. We are all struggling with something in our life and it all matters. You matter and what you are going through, what is on your heart, matters. May we be a culture that encourages those around us to talk, to share the hard times and the good. To listen and actually give those around us our time. We need one another to uplift, encourage and sometimes just sit with us and say nothing.
I am thankful for Jon in my life. I am thankful for who he was but most of all for who he encouraged me to be.
As the years go on, I continue to love him more and more and all that he brought to my life.