It was the first official conversation of the day, and it was clearly official and uniformed and he said to me, "I didn't take it seriously enough."
I don't even remember the first question, but I remember that answer.
Typically in these interviews I try to come at these kids with something shocking. Something I heard. Something I know. But I didn't come to this guy with a question. I came to him on my way to a funeral. And I told myself that me had to get out of the way of this interview.
That's all I had before he gave me that answer.
It was shocking.
"Listen. I've worked here for two years now and in those two years I've seen you in places. Noticed your face. That last thing I would have said about you is that you weren't serious enough." I said his name and then said, "Seriously? You're gonna tell me that?"
He smiles which gives us a unique moment. And I tell him, "Please continue."
Then he tells me of a time when three years ago somebody came to him. An uncle. An uncle bent down and talked to him in all the glory of this is who I am and this is how I got here.
And all of a sudden this kid got serious.
But today he smiled and he said all those things to me that I truly believe but I never wanted to believe it for myself more than I wanted to believe it for him. That guy, there has to be a way for him to be who he wants to be. For him I want there to be better than imagined. Larger than even the life he sees.
I will believe.
Today I am grateful to see my brothers and uncles and aunts and cousins and sisters and mothers and friends of the family or just family, it seems. Today I am grateful for a preacher, two in fact. I am grateful for a little girl who stood next to me.
And I want her to know that if she ever needs okgo it is right here waiting for her.
And I am going to tell her to get over it. That it will be okay if for just a moment you are misunderstood. And you don't want to fully comprehend what loss means. It's okay. Because understanding, just like everything else, all the tides pushing and pulling, comes and goes.
Claim the great, child, I think we said this week.