For those who know me, you know I cringe whenever someone uses the term 'YOLO'. But that's not what this blog post is about.
This post is about a friend of mine who has fought the good fight against an inoperable brain tumor for the past years. He won in the best way someone with an inoperable brain tumor could: by passing away peacefully, with his family at his side.
He was only 19.
I knew Quinn through my church, his younger brother was in Sunday School classes with my sister, and he was a year older than me. I can still remember him being a ridiculously goofy kid, and my mom, who subbed for his fourth grade CCD class, saying how he was the only nice one. As I got older, we never really got closer. When I became an altar server, I was put in his group. I was only nine at the time, but I remember him being really funny and making me laugh a lot. I was thirteen when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Although I didn't know him well, I remember being terrified. Quinn and I crossed paths quite often (pretty easy when you live in a town like mine) and he always had a smile. Always. Even as he suffered through chemo and countless other treatments, he always had a smile and a kind word. He was so full of joy.
Quinn taught me lessons that I never thought I needed to know, but now that I look back, I realize I did. Life's too short to live out the 'YOLO' mindset. When you're on your death bed, you're gonna regret stuff. It's life. But do you honestly want to regret doing something as stupid as drinking underage or doing drugs? How about regretting not climbing to the top of Mount Everest? Because I'm pretty sure that on your death bed, you're not going to be thinking, "Damn, I wish I smoked that weed that was offered to me back in high school and then got drunk and had sex with everything with legs." I hope that on my death bed, I'll have no regrets, that I'll have done everything I ever dreamed of doing, that I loved enough, and that I became the person I was meant to be. But chances are, I'm going to have regrets. But I know I'm not going to regret becoming best friends with someone who really changed me. I won't regret having the relationship I have with my mom. I won't regret being in plays, or reading a little too much. I won't regret being called a nerd.
But I do regret doing the destructive things I've done before.
As I look through the facebook posts being made about Quinn, I see one thing that every post has in common: They all loved him. Everyone has something to say about one thing he did at one point, something he probably thought was nothing. Everybody keeps talking about how full of joy he was, and his smile. And all I can hope is that one day, I can make a difference in someone's life like Quinn made a difference in so many.
RIP Quinn, and thank you.