Friday, December 12, 2008

In Loving Memory of a cousin and friend...he will not be forgotten!

Well, I dreaded writing this because it would mean Brian has been layed to rest, but I felt I should share some things in memory of him. You pretty much can't go anywhere now without hearing someone say something good about him. I went into the bank and the lady mentioned he was a member there and that he would be missed. I went to the chiropractor on Wed. and more was mentioned there. It's on everyone's mind. He obviously touched a lot of lives.

Burying someone you love is never easy. But besides older relatives, I have never had to experience the death of someone as young, and as close as Brian was to my family. He thought a lot of my dad, as if he was his own. He thought a lot of my mom too. He would call them just about every day. Sometimes he would come by to help with something or just to tell them about a "bust" or something that happened that he was very proud of (his most recent was a big drug bust). He ALWAYS had stories to tell, and every time he would tell it with humor and not even mean to be funny. He was always the life of the party at family reunions or get togethers. A year or so ago, he and Barbara had a family dinner at their house. I remember Brian showing us how his German Shepherd (his drug dog) could sniff out something that he had hidden. He was very proud to show him off to everyone. This year, the Denning's had planned a Xmas dinner for Sunday. Sadly, we will not be attending. That's where he would get to meet Addison. He loved children and was so good with them. Addison would have loved him. One of the last times I saw or spoke to Brian was over the summer. Scott and I went to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel and ran into him. He was sitting alone enjoying his breakfast and asked us to sit with him. I'm so glad we did. We talked and laughed of course. I didn't realize it would be our last meal together.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I've never seen so many people at a viewing in my life. The parking lot stayed full. The line was never-ending. People from everywhere were coming to show their respects. Flowers were being sent in at all hours. There were two officers guarding his casket at all times.

The Thursday service was one of the saddest, yet most memorable day of my life. It was unforgetable! The service, yet sad, was very enlightening because they really honored Brian and spoke of him as a true hero. It may sound cliche, but to a lot of people, he was a hero. He did many things for people and the community. He was a friend to all and his service was proof of that. The church was nearly full and people were still lining up to pay their respects to the family. There was a slide show going while people arrived and throughout the service. Brian was in the process of learning a song on the guitar called "Collide". That was played in honor of him. Several people spoke including his best friend and brother. His brother Michael gave a beautiful speech that Brian would be so proud of. There was not a dry eye in the entire church! He has really stayed strong for his family through this tough time.

Once the service was over, it was time to lay him to rest. Getting there was a very enlightening time also. The police department had EVERY road blocked from the church to the cemetery. Everyone was so respectful. As we drove in the precession, there were people getting out of their cars and standing on the side of the road to honor him as they drove him by. It was unbelievable!!! Once we were there, a policeman got on his radio and called out to every officer and made it Brian's "last call".

As the days now pass, I can't seem to get him off my mind. I keep hearing his voice and picturing him telling one of his funny stories. He will never be forgotten! The harsh reality is that a great man is gone, but his memory and legacy will live on forever through everyone that was touched by him. He will truly be missed! We love you Brian!

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