Saturday, March 03, 2007
A celebration of life
Last Saturday I made the decision to go with the Honda Civic. I liked the Focus but there is more leg room in the Civic, which was ultimately the deciding factor. I felt awful not going with the Focus because a very good friend works for Ford. He's been thinking about what my needs would be since the accident. I know he thought this was the best way he could help, eventhough his friendship is all the help I need. However, I had to go with the best fitting car for me. So Saturday evening I signed the initial paper work to buy the Civic. On Tuesday I dropped off a check, signed the final paperwork, and we brought it home yesterday. I won't be able to drive it until the hand controls are installed but at least I have time to play with the voice controls and the Blue Tooth.
I'm late posting this week because my attention has been focused on my friend Kelly Nelson (once upon a time she was a Witherbee) and her family. Last Sunday Kelly called with the news that her brother Brian had passed away. I didn't know Brian well yet I was immediately overwhelmed by grief. Over ten years ago the Witherbee's came into my life as the family of a friend I had met in college. They have since become family to me. Kelly's parents watched over my house while I was hospitalized, they even decorated it for Christmas. Just a few weeks ago (while Kelly was home from Colorado) I sat at their dining room table with Kelly's parents Sherry and Cecil, her husband Chris, brothers Brian and Jeff, and Jeff's wife Amber playing cards. We told jokes, laughed, and shared stories.
Brian was diagnosed with a brain tumor the Thursday before last. The hospital felt that he was okay to go home on Friday morning. They had several procedures scheduled for last Monday and Tuesday. He spent time with some friends on Friday night and he passed in his sleep. He and his family were spared a world of suffering.
Brian was a unique, talented, and vastly intelligent 26 year old man. His condition would have taken away his ability to enjoy reading, music, and so much more. Instead of suffering through that God has called him home.
His family, while grieving, has chosen to celebrate his life. Over the past week I have been with them as they've looked throught pictures and memento's. Watched them learn about the things that had meaning to Brian. Brian loved coffee and listened to "funky" music. Before his memorial service they had a gathering where we listened to the music he loved, talked about Brian and the Witherbees, and enjoyed coffee served by a Barrista. It was standing room only at his memorial service where people came forward and spoke of their memories of Brian and what he meant to them. I know Brian would have been amazed at the turnout, shocked by how much he meant to everyone, and proud of how in touch his family was with what he would have wanted.
As I sat there it occurred to me that Brian's life and how he passed from us was another assertion of faith. When he was faced with a world of pain, and a loss of self, he was granted peace. I will miss him.
Amazing Jeremy, simply amazing how you continue to put yourself ahead of others....
You are an angel from heaven, I wonder if your fall from heaven hurt when you landed here in our lives...
Please pass on our sympathy and our prayers to Brian's family. There is little to say except that we will lift them up in prayer in their loss and in the memories of the time they shared with Brian.