This week has been an extremely emotional one. This week, for the third year in a row, I visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a beautiful hospital that researches cancer and treats affected children for free. This week, I lost one of the greatest loves of my life to brain cancer.
When I was 18, I met a man named Kentaro. Within days, we decided we wanted to travel the world together. This might sound like the dumbest choice I could have ever made, but it was the best. Ken was adventurous, impulsive, and down to do anything at the drop of a hat. He was the person you’d want to travel the world with.
I took the second photo on one of our first week in NZ. We visited some landmarks in Christchurch with the amazing people who took us in and one of the stops had a piano. He sat down and started playing (I had no idea he could play but I guess that’s what happens when you’ve only been with someone a few months.) Ken was full of surprises.
Our relationship turned sour and we fell apart. I deleted every memory of him except for this photo and a poem he wrote. But the bond I had with him is one I’m not sure I will ever feel with him. When you move across the world from everything you love and you only have one person with you, that person is everything. Through tears, through happiness, through homesickness. Ken was my everything.
Yesterday, I was on a tour of the medical facility where I believe St. Jude will eventually cure cancer when I found out that Ken passed away. I tried to reach out, but he was too weak. I talk to him now out loud, about everything I regret and everything that I loved.
If you’re still reading this far, firstly, thank you. Secondly, Ken’s friends have set up a GoFundMe for his family, and you can find the link in my bio. The cost of cancer treatment in the US is astronomical and they don’t deserve any of this. We fundraised for their family on stream a few days ago, so if you contributed, I don’t have the vocabulary to explain what that means. Thank you.
On his behalf, I took an adventure of my own in Memphis and explored the city at night in the rain. Thank you so much, Ken. I grip to every memory.