Two years ago today… my faith became a little shaky. My mind became a little restless. My emotions became a little unstable. A year ago today.. my world became a little uneasy. My days became a little slower. My community became a little smaller. A year ago today… my heart became a little heavier, because the world lost the little piece of Heaven that is you.
“You never know what you have until it’s gone.”
This saying is almost always true, except in this circumstance. Because with Cole, we always knew what we had. We had a hug, a smile, a laugh, a joke, a tear, a song, an ear to listen, a voice to speak, and a life to give. We had a friend, companion, brother, and son.
Nothing about him was unappreciated, and until his final breath, nothing about him was unfulfilled. The moment you came in contact with him, you forgot for a second the struggles he was actually going through.
You forgot that his life on Earth might be only temporary; and in those sweet moments, you became instantly encouraged by the joy that he didn’t even know he had. His life may have been short, but his impact is everlasting.
His legacy will never die because the spirit that lies within him is and was always surely alive.
For those that have never met Cole, I truly believe you will meet him one day. You’ll meet his @FrattillDeath persona, his duck-hunting lifestyle, and his healthy easy-breathing lungs.
However, in the meantime, I will give you a glimpse of Cole’s soul, story, and significance. Cole was born and diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis: an illness that affected his lungs, pancreas, Gastrointestinal Tract, and Reproductive System. It caused mucus build up in the lungs that made breathing comparable to “breathing out of a straw” as he would say.
With CF, Cole’s day usually started out with three treatments in the morning and ended with about four at night. He also had two 20 minute sessions with the VEST. Along with the treatments, Cole took roughly 30 to 35 pills a day to maintain his enzyme balance and to keep his immune system strong (Cole’s Commanders).
Though he battled tirelessly with this -so far- incurable illness, his life was never once defined by Cystic Fibrosis.
You wouldn’t have even known he had it.. He made everyone feel like a million bucks, like you were his favorite person. And although he was struggling, he took the time out of his crazy life to truly be in favor of you. He radiated light when his world seemed dark.
Even in times when he didn’t want to fight, he fought for the ones that kept cheering him on.
As tonight slowly turns into tomorrow, Cole’s soul is continuing to speak throughout. At UGA Freshley tonight, Daniel Simmons gave us the exact words I needed to hear:
“Take heart and don’t lose hope despite discouraging circumstances. Don’t give into the easy path. For anything in life that’s worth having, you will have to decide between giving up or going all in. We give up because we put our faith and trust in our circumstances instead of God. Take heart because Christ overcame the world. Because he defeated sin and death, and the grace that lives inside of us is more powerful than any circumstance you will find in this life. Choose the epic path. The one that will make your life count.”
If Cole had any words to say to us right now, I’m 100% sure it would be this. His life was by no means easy. His circumstances were by no means simple, but the way he lived is a true testament of making your life count.
Two years ago today… my faith may have became a little shaky, but my God proved to be a lot more prevailing. My mind became a little restless, but my prayers proved to be a lot stronger. My emotions became a little unstable, but my words proved to be a lot more meaningful.
A year ago today… my world became a little uneasy, but my Heaven proved to be a lot more certain. My days became a little slower, but my time proved to be spent a lot better. My community became a little smaller, but my friendships proved to be a lot more authentic.
A year ago today… my heart became a little heavier, but my love proved to be a lot more significant because Heaven gained a blue-eyed angel that is you.