I first met him in my freshman year of high school, but didn’t become super close with him much until senior year. It’s been 6 years since freshman year and in those 6 years, his life has been full of shitty things.
He has a disease (I honestly can’t remember what it is. I’m pretty sure it’s not scoliosis, but his ribs stick out at a really awkward angle), and before senior year, that disease caused one of his lungs to collapse twice. Also before senior year, his mom was hospitalized several times for a heart disease she has and once because she had a stroke.
During senior year in February, his house burned down. Not long after, he found out that his parents were heroin addicts.
Fast forward to 2016, one day in August/September he told me that his dad was in the hospital because his stomach was bleeding. About a week went by and his dad had managed to stabilize and went home. A couple weeks after that his dad went back to the hospital, and a couple days later, I woke up to a message from my friend saying “I’m on my way to the hospital, dad’s dying.”
His dad died that day.
Later that week, his mom was in the hospital for her heart disease again. My friend and I were going to a concert the first week of October, and he told me he still wanted to go, but he told me “I’m sorry if I won’t be able to go if mom dies.”
His mom’s still been going to and from the hospital since then. He had to spend Christmas in a hospital four hours away from home because of where she was. He told me that this time, doctors couldn’t operate on her right away because she wasn’t strong enough to live through a surgery at the time.
And yet, through all of this, he is still doing everything he can do with his life.
He’s in college, kicking ass in his physics classes (he got the best grade in his physics class this past semester), working out regularly, has an amazing sense of humor, and doing everything he can to make him happy.
When his house burned down, he was making jokes about it the same day it happened. He laughed and said that one of our teachers in our junior year started liking him when his lung collapsed (the second time). When his mom was hospitalized right after his dad died, he apologized in advance if he couldn’t make it to the concert. He fucking apologized to me because his mom might die.
It’s likely that when something bad happens to you, someone was there to say “there’s always someone who has it worse” and my friend is living proof that it’s 100% correct. Someone does have it worse. If someone who’s experiencing some of the worst and is still keeping a positive outlook on life, you can too. I had a rough patch after one of my friends died in eighth grade, and he helped me realize that even with shit being thrown at you, you can persevere and make the most out of what you’re given.