My Sweet Friend Jared Luellen

Through tears I write this post. I don't think anyone is ever prepared for a sudden loss of a great friend...I know I certainly wasn't. Yesterday I learned of the severe sickness, then passing of one of my first and dearest college friends. He had been battling pneumonia for about a month and his body was no longer responding to the medicines.

Even as I type, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that this is

my friend.

This is

my Jared.

This is 24-year-old Jared. This is the Jared that graduated college a month ago. As I talked with so many of our mutual friends yesterday, those are things that kept being said over and over again, "But this is our Jared."

We met my freshman year of college when we both lived at Victory Hall. My first memory of him is at the homecoming football game, sitting with his family. They were absolutely hilarious, as was Jared. Afterward, he and I gathered up all the pompoms in the stands, once the crowds had cleared. We both wanted to give our family members a souvenir from our new school and they were FREE, so that's what we did! We were so proud of our pompom box.  

So many thing are running through my mind that wish you all could know about Jared, but I'm much better expressing myself through images. I've documented my college life pretty well and as I've been browsing through them this weekend, I realize Jared was my college experience. He was there every step of the way. Every birthday. Every gathering. Every movie. Every study session. Every game night. Every moving day. Every sporting event. Jared was there with me. 

A little over a month ago, I got to watch Jared walk across that big stage at UNT. I'm so glad I got to be there that day, even more-so than before. I've been to a lot of graduations, seen many graduates, but I'm certain I've never seen a happier one than Jared Alan Luellen.

As I keep reminiscing, I'm trying to find little pieces of joy that I can cling to right now. 

I am so thankful I met Jared in 2008. 

I am so thankful I lived in the same buildings with him for 2 and a half years. 

I am so thankful for that Summer of daily Racetrac frozen slushies. 

I am so thankful he was my husband's volleyball teammate. MMPR!

I am so thankful he didn't mind staying until the last seconds of those long, losing football games. 

I am so thankful that Jared was there for my wedding day. 

I am so thankful that I was there to see Jared graduate. 

I am so thankful that some of us were able to Facebook message with him recently, telling him we hope he feels better. 

I am so thankful that I got to text him last week. 

I'm so thankful to have known my friend Jared. 

I hope you guys get to have a "Jared" in your life. If you do, you're so very lucky. He has filled my last five years with laughter and complete happiness. 

I think next time the Victory Family has a game night, I may just yell out a Jared-twanged "PISSFIRE," and laugh, thinking of one of the sweetest friends I've ever known.