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I remember when I found out you were going to be a father. You were way more excited than I expected you to be. You know? There was no shock, no surprise, it was like you knew your daughter was going to be the most precious soul to walk the face of the earth. You were ENTHUSIASTIC about the life that would be coming into the world.

Me, Dishun Ash, and Griffin Walizer at a Colts preseason game wearing our Craig Middle School jerseys. (2008)

I hadn’t seen you in awhile, and had came back to Indianapolis in early April of 2015 because the Final Four was in town. I went to a little kickback with some old friends and ended up spending most of the night catching up with you and talking about where our lives had been and where they were headed.

That was the last time I talked to you while you were alive. I got a call late in the night not too long after and next thing I knew, you were gone. I drove back home. I didn’t know what to think of any of it. This was the first time I had lost someone that I had grown up with.

I lost two friends that night, you and Mike, two of my closest childhood friends, one responsible for the death of the other. This screenshot below is from my notes in my phone, I wrote it the day after you died.

IndyStar (2015)- About 9:35 p.m. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to the 9100 block of Harrison Place on a report of a person stabbed. Once on scene, police said they found another teen, later identified as Dishun Ash, suffering from apparent trauma.

It was my first time realizing that shit really ain’t sweet; and at the blink of an eye everything can change. A life full of so much promise and purpose could be gone in a split second. I went and got a tattoo of a wolf howling, to remind me of you every time I looked at it. One of the reasons wolves howl is because they’re looking for other members of the pack.

National Geographic - Wolves also howl to find fellow pack members when they're apart—gray wolf howls can carry for miles—and for social purposes, such as maintaining relationships within members of the pack.

We all gathered at Geist Reservoir and left notes for you to read on your journey up to the stars. I scanned mine and pinned it on my wall. I remember meeting your daughter for the first time at Geist Reservoir, I could look into her eyes and see you. I knew from that moment forward that I wanted to be in her life forever. I enjoy watching her grow, watching her play, watching her personality develop, and thinking about all the wonderful things that she will go on to accomplish.

There was so much that she didn’t even understand, yet she was the strongest of us all, comforting us with your spirit. When I got back to ISU for practice I went out to the field early, just wanted to run around, try and clear my mind. It was a gloomy day, clouds had filled the sky and there was no sight of the sun anywhere near. I laid down on the field, and looked to the sky, and there you were. I took a picture of your presence, it was my background for a long ass time. The picture below is from that day.

Junior year I went to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break, I was excited because I’d have the opportunity to visit your grave. I miss you man! I got your name on all of my game cleats! I appreciate you being there for me whenever I need you. I can look up at anytime and feel your presence.

Your daughter is beautiful man, she is a reflection of you. I love watching her grow from earth as you watch her from heaven.

The Rose That Grew From The Ash. I Fully Understand Why You Were Excited About This Life.



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