I was on the same team as Eli for two years, and his death hit me harder than a ton of bricks. When he died, and everyone would talk about him and all of the good times. I was silent. I didn't think I was ready to share my stories of Eli with the world yet. I wanted to put them in a little box and cherish them just for myself, but as I have grown I have realized that grief isn't meant to be silenced. Talking about the ones you love and lost keeps them alive. Eli to me was the color green he was bright and energetic and could not handle leaving the hill without landing the trick he had been working on. When it snowed, without fail, Eli would be riding the street or hiking up a mountain. Eli always wanted to do the craziest lines, and he wanted you to be right behind him every step of the way (but he had to do it first of course). Every day that I got to spend with Eli was a true blessing, and there hasn't been a day since he passed that he hasn’t crossed my mind.
I'm not saying Eli was perfect he was far from it, but I think that what drew people to him was that he basked in his imperfections. To the kid who told me he would beat up any boy that tried to talk to me, who on the daily mispronounced common words, and who I struggle every day without. To anyone who has Eli stories, I urge you to tell them to keep them alive. TELL YOUR FRIENDS YOU LOVE THEM BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.