Sometimes people come into your life and just know exactly what you need, when you need it. I had just met my friend, working with him only for the summer. It’s been a difficult summer for me, to say the least.
Two weeks before leaving my home state to pursue an internship, my father passed away. I still left, hoping that the distraction of a new town and job would help more than dwelling in my sadness at home. It did help, but I never could have survived without the friends I made. It’s sometimes surprising how much someone can care for you and support you after such a short time of knowing each other. That's what happened with this friend.
One Sunday, we were sitting on a porch sipping mimosas as I explained the meaning behind my new tattoo for my dad. I began to break down a bit, still adjusting to how to communicate my grief out loud. He ended up reaching for his key to give to me. This gesture meant worlds to me, knowing how much he cherished his “truth” key.
Fast forward a week. I’ve finally got the key I ordered for him in the mail. Along with the “breathe” key, I wrote him a letter about how he may not need this key right now, but sometime down the road, something hard and unexpected would happen and he would have to remember to breathe and everything would be alright. I explained that at my dad’s funeral, my mom kept repeating “just breathe,” and it's somehow helped me get through this tough time. It also just so happened to be the day that he had decided to tell his mom that he is gay. Earlier, someone had anonymously sent a hateful letter, and attached to it was another one addressed to his mother. This hateful act was a blessing in disguise as he used the opportunity to gain strength and tell his friends and family. He had not only exchanged his “truth” key for a “breathe” key, but he had revealed the truth and now needed to remember to just breathe and everything would be okay. It was perfect.