Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday I found out that one of my fellow classmates passed away. It hit me like a brick wall. I met Brian in September, so I have known him for less than three months. All of our classes were together this semester, since we're so close to finishing our degrees in history education. Brian was not an ordinary FSU student. He was passionant, caring, true to his faith...and he had brain cancer. I didn't know much about his condition, but over time, I learned more. He had non-Hotchkins Lymphoma which had recurred for the third time. His condition was "inoperable." Brian was in class on Tuesday. I saw a notice on Wednesday about a benefit hockey game in December to raise money for his treatment. When I last saw Brian, he wasn't the same. We were in a small group together and he was distant. He wasn't himself at all. Brian was passionant about being a teacher and encouraging to his fellow classmates. I casually talked with him as we walked out the building on Tuesday afternoon. We said goodbye as our paths separated and that was it. I could tell that he was feeling pretty bad. He didn't say much. And then on Friday morning I got a text informing me that he passed away. The rest of us knew it was probably coming eventually, but not now. Not for awhile.Throughout the semester, we all talked about how he was really inspiring taking classes when he would probably never live to teach. Kudos to Brian was basically what we thought.

With his life situation, Brian began to appreciate the things that we all tend to take for granted. He shared with my friend that he now spent a lot of time outdoors, appreciating nature in its perfection. Brian was very committed to his faith, more than most people. God's plan...I wonder what he thought about that.

Brian has been on my mind all day. Why? That question pops up all the time. I have always thought that things happen for a reason, even when you don't want to believe it. When bad things happen, communities unite, people stop worrying about the little things, and others learn life lessons. It often takes awhile to see the good or the lesson. I feel that there is a plan for us. What was Brian's? What purpose was there in his suffering? He was an amazing person and he hurt so much for so long. Was he meant to be an inspiration to us all? I can never truly know the answer to why such a wonderful person died so young with so much potential. What I can do is remember the person he was. I can appreciate beauty in small things and do what makes me happy. Tomorrow a high school gym will be packed with mourners to remember Brian. Maybe there, surrounded by people who know other sides of Brian, I will learn more about his kind personality and inspiring story.

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