I know I am a little late in writing this... I have issues...death issues. I don't deal well. When I was struck with the news that a fellow classmate had passed away in a sky-diving accident, I went numb. My heart is still heavy writing this. A friend from high school has died. The news spread like wildfire amongst us and it was numbing. Eli Thompson has died. He died doing what he loved. He was a professional sky-diver and stunt & fly master. He was in Switzerland shooting some footage for a film. He somehow missed his jump from the helicopter to the side of the mountain and died on impact. As sad as it seems, perhaps there is NO OTHER way to go than doing what you love....
I went numb because Eli and I were in the same graduating class in high school. If you're like me, you still think that was a sweet 5 years ago. Well, sometimes, I act like it was 5 years ago. It's scary when people start passing around you that are the same young age. Death is for people my grandparents age...in my head.
Another reason for my numbness is Eli left a gorgeous wife who is expecting their son ANY day now and 2 beautiful, young girls. I couldn't fathom being put in this heart wrenching situation and feeling like I could go on without the love of my life.
Like I said earlier, I don't deal well with death. I found myself trying to find everything I could on Eli in the past 18 years since we all graduated and went on with our lives. It's sad that we all are reuniting so many years later through online facets. Some of you have lived close to each other and have remained in contact since the day we walked across that stage at COC. Others of us moved away and went to college. Our lives took us away from California. Perhaps we didn't look back as soon as we stepped over the state line, or we just didn't care about looking back. Whatever your story is, it's an important one and has molded you into the person you are today regardless of the circumstances.
What I do remember about Eli is that he had blond hair that was sometimes braided. It was about 5 inches long. He was my height and the boy never stopped smiling. I was new to Saugus my junior year of high school winter semester. I swear that boy acted like he knew me forever. He made me feel welcome no matter what others thought of the girl from Texas. Eli knew no social boundaries, he knew no strangers. His heart glowed and you could always see it on his face.
The world still mourns the passing of a beautiful man.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that life is short, because we all know it. I am going to tell you to absolutely do what you love and to love with all your heart. Don't do anything half-heartedly, it may be your only opportunity to show the world who you truly are. Be a legacy...leave your mark on this world. Make sure it's a great one.
I can put away the pictures, I can put the dreams aside, but I can't seem to get you out of my mind.
To make a donation to his family:
I thank my God every time I remember you. Phillipians 1:3