Michael Burns, better know as Burn-z, was diagnosed at a very young age with Juvenile Arthritis, rendering it very difficult for him to walk or even move his arms very well. I became friends with him in 6th grade and he passed away almost exactly 2 years ago. He was one of my most favorite people on the entire planet, and hell, was he funny and a damn good friend to a lot of people.
Since his passing, I have watched my friends back home become an unstoppable force. They have formed a group called the Michael Burns Memorial Fund, and have been organizing fund raising events all year round. Watching them from a distance (via the internet and some short trips home) I am so touched by how strong they've become. So close knit...through good and through bad. I love you guys. If you'd like to learn more about the Fund...please visit their Facebook page.
The night after his funeral me and my friends Kelly, Jessica, Liz, and Rich went for tattoos. Burnz was SO Irish and I am so NOT Irish... but because of him, I now have a shamrock tattoo on the inside of my left wrist to remind me of him and of my far away friends who all share the same shamrock. :)
*This post was really hard for me to do and doesn't nearly explain how deeply saddened I was and still am. Nor does it explain how truly amazing Michael Burns actually was. This is one of the biggest life changing turn of events in my 20s.