Monday, October 13, 2014

I Will Miss You Crystal

I kept saying, one of these days I need to get back to Miami and stop and see her.  After all, she had become a friend to me ever since I went to Educating Hands School Of Massage.  Time and distance had taken my life to a different location.  I figured, though, there was always tomorrow.  There was always plenty of time.

Last night, I found out my friend had gone to be with the angels after a long battle with cancer.  My heart is heavy and the tears keep welling up in my eyes.  No, I'm not sad she is now out of pain, but I am sad because I will miss her.

Crystal accepted me with open arms.  In a time when I had just lost my own mom to a tragic car accident and I was coming to terms with being gay, she just accepted me.  She treated me as if I was a normal person, deserving love and respect.  She treated me as a friend and a valued member of society, as if this was the only way to treat other people.

I remember the afternoons chatting with her for a brief few moments about life, my career and the challenges I often faced.  I remember talking to her about my appearance on the Oprah 200 Male Survivor show.  I remember talking to her about the connections where our life's experiences matched.  It seemed like Crystal and I could talk about anything and I felt safe and respected.

I remember being part of the group with Crystal when we went to Victim Services in Miami, and did volunteer chair massage once a week to people who had experienced how bad touch could be.  Those days, doing that with Crystal, changed me in so many ways.  The people we touched gave me so much and I'm so very thankful today of what Crystal did to make this happen.

As I look at all the other warm thoughts from the hearts of others, I see that Crystal had a way of making everyone feel the same way I did.  She had this unique gift of making you feel special and like you were the only one that mattered.  Her life touched so many people in such a positive way.  Some people travel this world and never touch the hearts and lives of so many others like Crystal did.

There are never enough words to share the heaviness in my heart today.  There are never enough words to fully display all that Crystal meant to me and my life.  My tears cry out for knowing that I never got to say goodbye, and that I'll never get to go just hang out again with her at her office and chat.

Last night when I got the news, I was sitting at the fireworks display for Come Out With Pride in Orlando.  Through my tear-filled eyes, I saw the spectacular display before me in the night sky.  I could not help but think, "what a way to go out of this world, Crystal."  I could see you up in the fireworks shining your life for all this world, Crystal.  I could see you accepting everyone for who they were.  It was a beautiful moment as I thought about your impact upon my life and everyone you met.

Crystal, you will forever be a part of my heart.  I will go on and use what I learned from you to help touch others in the world in whatever form that may take.  Through my own actions, the world will come to know you a little more and the impact you had upon it.

In loving memory of Crystal Loiacono

Blog Post And Images (c) 10/12/14 by Don Shetterly

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  1. Thank you for your kind word . I know Crystal as made a difference in many lives during her short time here.

    I'm hosting a Celabration of Life on Sun from 2-6 I would love for you to speak.