About 5 years ago, I was in the sauna doing push-ups. The door to the sauna opened and I scooted back into a seated position to make room for the new occupants. “Gosh. Don’t you think you made us look bad enough?”

That was the first time I met my best friend, Sam. Sam stood 5’9 about 225. Curly hair, with a thinning crown. Think of a younger, more handsome, glasses-less George Constanza. Sam was the first friend in Miami who took me out with them. He literally would force me to go out. I hated each time I went out and drank til 2 am, but I would hate it even more if I saw pictures of him out without me. When I was going through relationship problems, I would go over to his place (which was upstairs from mine). When something great happened, I would go right upstairs. He never gave me any great advice, but it always felt great to be around him. We played basketball and flag football together. He swore that if he didn’t tear both of his ACLs he would’ve been the best Jewish point guard ever. The oldest of four brothers- Sam was hilarious, neurotic, spastic, and beautiful.

When we both moved out of that building, we didn’t hang out as much, but we decided to make sure we checked in on each other. To make sure I didn’t forget, I would text Sam every Monday morning. I would send a “Just checking in” text at 6 a.m. Often, he’d be up, vowing this is the day he was beginning his newest diet, or excited about a new business venture. I would tell him, he’s beautiful and he would call me, sexy, and we both meant it. Without knowing, Check In On Ya Mans’ Monday was born.

I still remember our last conversation.

It was a couple days before my birthday. FaceTime call at midnight that ended with him saying, “I’ll call you on your birthday. I love you.” I never got that birthday call from my mans.

I was lucky to have a friend like Sam in my life. But blessed beyond imagination to be able to be the last person to speak to him, and it was all because we made sure to check in on each other.

How often do you talk to your best friend? Your brother? Your father? Uncle? When was the last time you actually checked in on ya mans?