This Thanksgiving was not the same as Thanksgivings of the past have been for me. Usually, Thanksgiving for me is all about getting together with my family to enjoy each other's company for a day. This year, I really considered what I am thankful for. The death of my friend, Brian, gave me a new perspective on life. I usually try to appreciate the little things and stay positive, but Brian's death really made me see how much I appreciate my life.
Brian saw beauty in everyday life. He was inspiring, motivated, and caring. He wanted so much to change the world. He wanted to help those less fortunate than him. I learned a lot about who Brian was at his funeral and viewing. Before last Sunday, I only knew Brian as a fellow classmate, and I thought he was pretty awesome already. I listened to his stories, looked at his pictures, and read his blog about the last few years of his life in which he kept an update on his battle with cancer. Brian loved the outdoors, learning, and the people in his life.
A few of my friends have been going through some tough times, and once they heard the news of Brian's death, they saw their problems as miniscule in the whole of life. Life in terms of their problems wasn't really so bad. The same is true for me. Sure I have my moments when I get frustrated and disappointed, but overall, I'm lucky. I have wonderful friends, teachers, and family members (and dogs too), I have been able to travel, and I am almost done with school...just a few more months! In the last week, I have taken a few extra moments to notice beautiful, fresh snowfalls. Last week, the snowfall sat in the trees in the most perfect way. It was truly a winter wonderland. Christmas music is now making its way onto the radio stations. I LOVE Christmas music and this time of year! I am so happy in this season of family, lights, carols, and treats. Every time I walk into my education classroom, I will notice Brian's empty chair. It's hard to see his chair and know that he's gone from this life. But it reminds me of what he wanted. He wanted to graduate and influence the next generations. He set the bar high, a bar which I will work my life trying to live up to. When I'm having a hard day, I'm going to try to think about what Brian would do. I know that he would make the best of the circumstances and find the good, even in a mountain of bad. I am so thankful that I was lucky enough to know Brian.