Six months ago, today, I lost my best friend in a devastating hit-and-run motorcycle accident. I, as well as many others, were shocked and heart-broken hearing this news. Garry was a one in a million, maybe even a billion. He had a heart like no one I’ve ever known, a love like no one I’ve ever known. His memorial service proved how special he was, and that he had impacted so many lives all over the world. Literally.
Garry’s close friends spoke at the service, but I did not. A lot went through my mind that week. There was so much I could say, yet nothing I could possibly say all at the same time. However, there was one thing stuck out to me that I wanted to share, and now I can finally put it all together in words.
Garry wore a lot of yellow. Yellow looked good on him. Oddly enough, it looks good on me too (neon yellow, specifically). We clearly don’t share any resemblance, though I used to joke about us being twins, yet we shared this vibrant color. In fact, the last time we were together we wore matching bright yellows (not planned). The time before that, Garry was also wearing a yellow shirt, and we somehow acquired this mini rubber ducky throughout the evening. To this day I still have no idea how this little, yellow toy ended up in our possession, or how it vanished from us just as quickly as it appeared. That night was easily one of the best times we’ve had together, and I’m so grateful to have spent that time with him not knowing what was to come only a short month later.
To me, Garry will always represent the color yellow. Every characteristic of this color embodies all of who Garry was. It’s the most fitting for him in so many ways.
Yellow is the most luminous color in the color spectrum. It is the brightest color the human eye can see, and it captures our attention more than any other color. Wherever Garry went he shined like a bright light. You saw him, you remembered him, even if it was for a brief moment in time. Your eye was always drawn to him.
In almost every culture, yellow is the color of happiness, optimism, sunshine, joy, youth, and fun. It is a cheerful and energetic color, and the best color to boost enthusiasm. Garry represented all of these things. His smile was everything. His positive and optimistic attitude was infectious. Good became great when you were with him. He always made you feel better when you were down. He shared in your sadness, but always spun it around into something joyful. People have actually questioned whether or not they have even seen Garry frown. He was just so happy and always laughing. We shared countless laughs together. When I think about it, I can actually hear him laugh and it’s made me laugh out loud on occasion. To this day it’s still that contagious.
I miss that laugh.
In color psychology, yellow is the color of communication. It is uplifting, offering hope and happiness. When you were talking with Garry he was fully present. He listened. More people today are just waiting for their turn to talk, but he listened. He gave you his full attention and heard what you had to say. He could talk to anyone, relate to everyone, and enjoyed being with all different types of people. He loved people. Not many of us can honestly say that and fully mean it, but Garry genuinely loved people.
Although there are strong colors of yellow, deep yellow and almost brown, there are no dark yellows. There is no crayon in the crayon box, no paint swatch on the wall at Home Depot, no shade named dark yellow. When you mix it with black it seems to turn a sickly yellow-green color. Have you ever noticed that? Yellow is the only color that can fully represent Garry’s character. There was no darkness in his heart, no ill feelings toward anyone or anything. He saw the best of things and he made those things shine. There was no way anything ugly, dark or negative could manifest in his entire being. It was almost impossible.
Finally, yellow is the color of creativity and new ideas. It is practical thinking and not a dreamer. It is “the scientist” analyzing and looking at both sides before making a decision. Yellow is related to learning, and inspires thought and curiosity. Garry was an engineer, a brilliant one at that. He loved learning new things and trying new things, and approached each situation with such an open mind. He loved photography and creating short films. It was his passion. The only downside to that was he was always the one behind the camera and most of us don’t have a lot of pictures of him. But, he loved capturing the moment, and because of that, we can cherish all of the wonderful times we spent with him.
I miss my friend. I’ve never experienced a loss of someone so close to me before. To my own shock and dismay, I accepted the fact that Garry was gone rather quickly. I had accepted the fact that God has a plan for everything and that I’ll never understand why He decided to take him home so soon. I chose not be sad. I chose to focus on how I was so incredibly blessed to have known such an amazing person. Most of all, he wouldn’t want me to be so sad. He’d want me to smile and remember all the incredible, joyous times we spent together. To remember all the times we needed each other. How though we didn’t talk for months at a time, we’d pick up right where we left off. How at the exact time both felt it had been too long and knew we needed to catch up.
Well, now is that time, and unfortunately he’s not here. I had a feeling that at some point down the road the true loss of him would surface, likely in this instance. I was right. I can’t pick up the phone and say we’re long overdue to hang out. The permanency of knowing that “long overdue” means forever has become all too real lately. The past couple weeks have been hard. Writing this post is hard. As I keep pulling myself together to write these last few lines, I’m reminding myself of how unbelievably lucky I am to have known such a beautiful person. That such a magnificent human being even existed in my lifetime, and I had the honor to call him my best friend.
“His whole being was love,” a friend of ours said. His life was a gift to all of us. No one will ever forget the impact he made in each one of our lives. No one will ever forget his brightness, cheerfulness, joy, and light. He is, and will always be, the color yellow.
He is my yellow.💛
In loving memory of Garry Gulledge ~ the greatest man I have ever known, and the best friend a girl could ever ask for.