(As a warning, today's post will be a bit on the stream-of-consciousness side. I have some feelings; I'd like to get them out. If you keep reading, I appreciate it. If not, I still appreciate you.)
This time of year has been weird for a number of years, for a number of reasons. Mostly it revolves around untimely, tragic, completely unfortunate deaths. It used to be confined to a week in early September, but circumstances sadly keep appearing which pushes the date back further and further.
However, today is different. Today is Esther Day.
Esther Day started in 2010, to honor the 16th birthday of celebrated nerdfighter and cancer-fighter Esther Earl. At that time, she had become a true friend to author John Green, and she'd become somewhat famous in the community due to her friendship with John and her association with The Harry Potter Alliance. Sadly, she passed away just weeks later, on August 25, 2010.
I never met Esther. In fact, she had already passed away before I'd even heard of her. And yet... this girl's life, her words, her presence on this planet means something to me. In learning more about Esther many moons ago, I stumbled across a vlog she posted during 2009's LeakyCon in Boston. It was the first time she'd met John Green. When you hear how excited she was, how she couldn't speak, how she was shaking, how it's clear she's still all amped up from that chance meeting as she retells it in front of the camera... I felt an immediate kindred connection with her. And it broke my heart that I would never meet the vibrant, hilarious girl in that video.
But Esther Day isn't about focusing on the sadness of death. Esther Day is about telling the people you love that you love them. It's about goodness, light, love, family, friendship, hope, LIFE. The next few weeks are always tough for me, and this weekend especially will be damn near impossible to get through without a potential breakdown. Instead of concentrating on the sense of loss I feel without these people in my life, I will think of Esther. I will think of the joy she brought so many people. I will think of the joy that Mike, Craig, Randy, and Cos brought me. I will hold onto love and do my damnedest to cast out the darkness that always creeps in. That's how I'll honor Esther.
Thank you, sweet girl. Just as you told John years ago, I also believe that the dead live on the memory and the lives of those they have touched. You still live on in our hearts and in our memories. Your star will not go out. I promise.
Happy Esther Day, everyone. I love you for reading this.