‘Darlin,’ only the good die young’

By Leah Spagnoli

Two and a half year ago my friend was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a small, round and rare tumor found in soft tissue or bone. The disease announced itself after my classmate, who is one of my best friends, finished his senior football season and stopped ignoring the pain in his shoulder.

The day I heard the news, I found Clint in the school’s parking lot, gave him a hug and began to cry. Being a foot taller than me, he looked down, put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Smile, champ. Everything is gonna be OK. This will be easy, I promise.”

From then on I listened to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley so I could remind myself that I shouldn’t worry about a thing and everything would, in fact, be alright.

Clint made us have hope. He showed his true colors as a fighter and made sure everyone knew it as he held his head up high.

Bracelets were made, fundraisers were held, and those closest to him stayed by his side in the good times and bad.

Clint passed away early Monday morning after fighting tumors in his shoulder, lungs, hips, lymph nodes and just about the rest of his body. He was a fighter. He had hope. He was strong.

I, along with many others in the world, have dealt with loss. However, I have never been in a situation where I lost someone not only so young, but also such a good friend; someone who I have been through so much with. The boy I used to talk to every night in the eight grade hoping that he would like me more than my friend. The boy who could make “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora an even more hilarious song when accompanied with his dancing.

Losing a person like this is surreal. I can’t say that it will ever feel real that my good friend has left this Earth to go to a place where there is no more pain. Knowing that he is no longer in pain is relieving.

I know now that it isn’t my job to be sad, but that my job is to remember Clint for who he was: a son, brother and friend. Clint was the person who touched the hearts of everyone he met with his smile and kind words.

Death is scary. Death is upsetting. Death is life. My heart goes out to any person dealing with a pain of this magnitude.

I can promise you that some day, this too shall pass.