This is an autobiographical post. The names of people and places may be changed.

We decided to write autobiographical posts about the colorful life we have lived. There will be tales of sleeping in a campervan on the beach, of defending a bird’s nest from a snake, and of running away from wolves while sick with bronchitis. There will be tales of diagnosis with PTSD and ADHD and how it changed our lives, of meeting biological family, and of job loss. It’s a tale of overcoming challenges, of finding out who we are, of love, hope, cats, and of a marriage that’s gotten stronger through it all.

Autobiography Post 3

Dorian knew Cameron since they were both babies. Literally. There is a photo somewhere of the two of them, less than a year old, sitting in a driveway together. Their families were friends, and so they grew up as brothers.

Many days, nights, and weekends were spent together, mostly playing video games. They were both in band, and both had ADHD though Dorian didn’t know he had it at the time. They both ended up working at the same news station as young men. The two of them were inseparable, the best of friends, making each other’s lives better.

I knew Cameron from high school. He was in my grade, and we sat by each other during a few classes. We went to senior prom together as, well, something. Not really dating, but more than friends. We dated later that year, but only briefly.

Cameron is the one that introduced the two of us to each other, and for that we will always be grateful. It began with a “You should meet my best friend, Dorian, you’ll like him!” We hung out in group gatherings, and it led to us dating.

We began dating in 2013. I remember only a couple times that the two of us also spent time with Cameron and his then-girlfriend. I’m sad we didn’t spend more time together. Because in December of that year he was killed by a reckless driver on his way to college. He was 24 years old.

I still remember Dorian calling me and telling me what happened. He said, “Cameron’s dead.” My mind couldn’t process it. Dead? Just that? It should have been preceded by “injured” or “sick” or “in the hospital”. It was the longest, most confusing, most painful day.

That night I decided to go over Dorian’s family’s house to support him. My adoptive parents protested, saying they needed me here, but I knew I had to be with Dorian.

I spent a week at the house, staying in the same room with him, being his rock, helping communicate with friends and family. Everyone wanted Dorian to make big decisions on the funeral and other memorial events, but he was so emotional that the last thing he wanted was to speak to anyone.

We both attended multiple events together across the course of a couple of weeks. Dinner at Cameron’s family’s home, services, the funeral. And in the years that followed we attended court hearings for the woman that had hit him, who eventually ended up in psychiatric care.

Cameron was supposed to be the best man in his brother’s wedding in 2014. Dorian was asked to go in his stead. The wedding was in Hawaii, our first major trip together.

It’s been almost ten years now. We still get emotional about it sometimes. About what life for us would have been like if Cameron was alive. How intertwined our lives would be. When you endure abuse from friends and family, it stings much more knowing that one person who only ever treated you with kindness is no longer there to provide it.

But his memory is alive in our relationship. And we know that if not for him, there would be no us.

Thank you, Cameron.

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