Thirty. He would have been the big 3-0 today. And I've felt guilty about it all afternoon. First of all, I wouldn't have remembered that today was his birthday. Fail. I'm horrible with birthdays, but not a year goes by that I don't remember the date of the crash, or the day he passed. It's crazy how in life we always remember the bad stuff. And all day long, I have dodged the subject with my B-F-F- probably because after 15 years it's still too raw for us to talk about- either that or I'm way too emotional and she hides her feelings all too well and it just makes for one big hot mess.
Thirty years ago, Greg Crittenden, Jr., was born a healthy, bouncing baby boy. For fifteen years he touched so many people- and I was lucky to be one of them. He was Bubchie, and I was Shellchie, and we had our own language full of chie's. Greg just happened to be my best friend's brother- and over the years was like a brother to me. He would yell at me for taking the last serving of Fruity Pebbles, he'd lip-sync into hairbrushes to Tiffany's "I think we're alone now", we'd have competitions shooting the basketball out of the second story windows aiming at the basketball hoop, I'd have to referee he and his sister Amy during board games, and I can see it like it was yesterday- when he was asked to take out the trash, he'd make a girlie face and sing , "If you ask me to..." by Celine Dion. He loved his gold chain, the Braves, his buddy Anthony, his beloved starter jacket, and thought many times that he could outsmart us by taping down the button on a walkie talkie and sticking it under his sister's bed to "spy" on us. And these are just some of the memories I carry with me.
I'm sure there would be hundreds more if Greg was still here with us today. But on a cold December night, he went out with a group of guys including my brother- and a horrible car accident happened. And after a few roller coaster days, Greg went to heaven to walk the streets of gold and to be with the Lord.
Today has been just another example of how Greg touches people. Sure, you can say the cliché things like he taught many to wear your seatbelt, become an organ donor, and to tell your loved ones that you love them. But today, he's taught me to remember the good in life. To celebrate. And that the song is true- there are those that will remain, "Forever Young."
Happy Birthday Greg.