Most of the content on this site is generally lighthearted and fun in nature. This is article is not. Please be aware that this article touches upon themes such as death, loss, and the social impact of Magic.
Six years ago, a friend introduced me to Magic: The Gathering. A week later, I noticed someone on the bus was flipping through some cards across the aisle. Now, I had seen this dude before—big, scary, intimidating. But I thought, “Hey. He’s got magic cards, how scary can he be?” A month later Damian was one of my best friends. The guy who looked like he could crush me like a soda can turned out to be one of the coolest, most caring, honest people I have ever met. We spent a whole summer hanging out and delving into that hobby together. He told me once that his goal was to collect one of every Planeswalker just because of how awesome they were.
After he passed, his mom had to sell off some of his more expensive cards to help pay for some things, but he left me everything else. I respect that, and still have the majority of his collection today. A few days after his funeral, a couple of other friends and I got together and remembered that goal he had. We decided that it might be a cool idea to finish that collection in his name. Things change, life moves on, people drift apart, but I never forgot about the guy who taught me the game and kept the spirit alive for me, or what we talked about.
Its taken me a while, but even through school, work, family and friends, I slowly managed to gather these cards over the years. Some of them through trading, some as gifts, some I bought, but they were all with the same goal in mind and the same spirit behind them. I now own one of every Magic: The Gathering unique Planeswalker, and I’d like to dedicate that to Damian.
If you take anything away from this, let it be that people aren’t always what we judge them to be. If I had never talked to the big scary guy on the bus, I probably wouldn’t enjoy the amazing hobby that I do today. I wouldn’t cherish the time spent enjoying it with friends and family as much as I do. Don’t be afraid to meet new people. Don’t be afraid to tell them how important they are to you. They might not be around forever.