Has there ever been someone in your life or your family that just makes everything fun? Whatever it is, you know that with them there, things will just be happy and life just seems better - that person for me (and I'd venture to say for the whole Chard clan) is . . . Marcos. This morning I got on the internet to dowload some homework for my Biology class and a gravitational pull took me towards the pictures and videos on our computer. Now, just so you all know this computer was Marcos's homebase - it was his life (haha- he'd kill me for that), but seriously, he would be on this thing for hours into the night, looking at music and editing pictures until dad would call out from behind him - "Marcos - come on - it's 2 in the morning" and dad would hear back, "Just a sec - almost done". So, this morning when I ventured into Marcos's pics and videos, I thought that I was prepared to laugh a little and smile and then move onto the things that I have to do today . . . it's now been an hour of looking at pictures and videos and smiling and crying and missing him more than I thought that I could. I think that us serving missions together was something that kept my missing him at bay because, to tell you the truth, I didn't need to miss him because he was always with me. Now, that mind sound foolish to some, but for those who know that we as humans are connected to each other in much deeper ways than just on the surface, will understand what I mean. There were some days on the mission that I know I could not have made it through, were it not for the knowledge that I did not walk alone in the service of Jesus Christ - Marcos and I always walked together. There is something comforting about knowing that while hundreds of people have gone through what you are going through as a missionary and can remember and understand, although they are not in the moment anymore, there is someone that is in the moment and that moves you forward. Marcos was that someone for me, and so I didn't really get the chance to miss him because we were linked together. Now that I have been home for a little while I am starting to feel and understand what it means to miss him and that was even clearer this morning as I glanced over his face in the pictures and listened to his laugh and voice on the videos. I am gratful for that ability to miss someone because it helps me realize what we sometimes take for granted. I have heard it been said before, that we never really know what we have, until it's gone - and more than ever I believe that. Marcos is gone for just a moment and will be back sooner than we think and I am so grateful for that and the moments that we will have as we grow up and move on and have families and children and lives, but as a family still stay connected. But, what about those who have departed from my life before I got to show them how I feel? I mean that in more ways than one - of course those who have passed on, who I miss and love and KNOW that through Jesus Christ if I live righteously, I can see again - but also those friends and family who because of distance or my excuse of lack of time, or waiting for them to take charge of the friendship or whatever it may be, have drifted out into the world of once a year Christmas cards or uncomfortable chance encounters. I don't want it to be like that anymore and so it comes down to me letting people know that I care and I'm grateful and I value who they are and what they mean to me - so, to those of your reading this, know that I love you and am grateful for the impact you have made on my life and that I will try to do better to be the friend that you deserve. Life is about finding those people who make it worth living and then becoming someone who they can't live without. We can all be that person, like Marcos, who makes things fun and happy just beacuse we are there! . . .