You loved the Milwaukee Brewers. People were often confused since you are from Jacksonville not Milwaukee. But, that’s okay: I love them too. I remember when you first started to like them; it was May 2007 and we were about to finish our sophomore year of high school. That was the year you had decided to turn our lives around, sort of by choice, but sort of by force.
“I’m really concerned about Eddie, Julie,” Ms. Regent had said to me once at the beginning of May about you.
“I know, Ms. Regent. I am too. But, I don’t know what I can do. I’ve tried everything and it falls on deaf ears.” I had replied; I knew she was trying to do well, but at that point in time no one could get ahold of you.
But, no one had to say anything; you were out with Blaine on June 4, 2007. He just graduated from our school and you were at some college dude’s house. You claim you don’t remember all the details, but you and Blaine were so hopped up on white pony and so drunk that he fell to his death from the three-story apartment.
“Oh God, Julie. My life is a mess. I need to stop,” you said to me with the tears in your eyes. It was right after Blaine’s funeral; it scared the shit out of you.
I was always bad at this type of stuff; “Well, what do you want to do with your life? You could always start there.”
You thought for a while; you had stopped crying at that point; and finally you said to me, “I want to be a travel writer. God, Julie. I haven’t watched a Packers game in a few years since I was so busy getting high. I miss it. I should go and see a game—I could start my travel writing!”
I thought you were talking crazy at that moment, but I just shook my head in agreement. The next day you bought your plane ticket, Packers ticket and a surprise in hand: a ticket to a Brewers game.
“I can’t wait to go,” you smile as you said that to me. It had been a while since I’ve seen you smile and I was happy for you.
You had a great time. You always loved taking pictures and the pictures you brought back showed what a great time they had—they also won against the White Sox, which made you happy since the Packers lost the night before. That game converted you into a Brewers fan, even though you were still iffy about baseball.
You drug me to games year after year. I’m still not a fan of baseball, but I will admit it was fun. Going to Milwaukee with you twice was an experience I’ll never forget and I liked going there better than Atlanta (at least in Milwaukee you are safer than when you are in Atlanta).
Then you joined the Peace Corp in 2010. You said you wanted to see the world and that this would be a perfect way to see it. You would always write me asking about how the Brewers were doing. 2012 wasn’t such a hot year, especially after Ryan Braun’s controversy (Ryan Braun was always your favorite, mine too and he is cute). You seemed optimistic in your letters, though I’m sure you were disappointed about your team, especially when the Packers were doing just okay. You were still in Egypt.
That was your last letter to me—“I hope you’re doing okay Julie. Even though I love traveling, I hope to come home soon. Let’s see a Brewers game, my treat!” The day I received your letter, which I guess is ironic, your mother called my mother to tell us the terrible news. As you were being transported to a site you were going to be volunteering, a bomb exploded in the car. It’s been a few weeks now and it’s been hard. I miss you. I am sitting here now at the Braves/Brewers game. It’s about 100 degrees here, but otherwise it’s a beautiful July day. So far the Brewers are winning and I hope they do; they better since this game is in homage to you.