[SERIOUS] How old are you and what is the most difficult thing you have experienced in your life?

Falling in love was the greatest and most difficult thing I've ever experienced.

Before it could happen I had to come to terms with the fact I was gay in bible belt rural America and deal with all the hardships that brings, as well as coming out to my parents who were accepting. I then fell in love with another guy at 15, we would end up being together for 3 years.

But he had Chronic Kidney Disease, and had already had one transplant before we met. We dealt with the sickness, the pain, the tears, the too many "I love you goodbyes" that could have been permanent. CKD is hard, painful, and worst of all a long march toward the inevitable. You can get another transplant, but you can't solve the cause. But it bought us time, and that's all I could ask for. His second transplant gave me more time.

We spent winter nights huddled in blankets on the trampoline staring at the stars and singing softly as we fell asleep, we ran around too much during the days, and stayed up too long on the phone at night just wishing for a little bit more time. I remember going to the beach at the lake and swimming, and then he'd make me build a stupid sandcastle with him. I asked him once why he always did it (I of course felt that I was too mature for that) and he told me that it was like life. It isn't easy to push sand together to build something meaningful, but it certainly fell apart easy. If you were going to do it you had to do it right or it'd simply fall apart. But no matter what you did, or how hard you worked, the tide would eventually wash what you had worked for away. He said that life would too. I always built one with him after that.

By the time I was 18 he was in bad shape. I can't imagine how much he had to love me to do this, but he broke up with me. He told me that I needed to move on. He wasn't going to force me to stay with him until the end. I had seen the light that once lit up his passionate eyes fade, he was tired of fighting. The tide was coming in and he wanted to save me from seeing my masterpiece destroyed. He died a year later.

This is one of the few times I've told this story, because being gay where I am doesn't lend you much support. I know that if he were here today he would be changing the world through his compassion and humanity, and I miss him more than anything. I still love you Monkey.

/r/AskReddit Thread