For it was 15 years or so ago that someone very dear and special was introduced into my life. Someone unique in a wonderful way, someone who I never saw mad or angry at anyone or anything in my life. Someone who knew how to make anyone smile and feel special. I know that everyone who knew this person would agree, he was a unique, rare and oh so valuable friend.
I was a teenager when I met my "cousin" while on our summer vacation in Utah. I say "cousin" because his dad is my dad's cousin... I didn't know he existed until that meeting. He fit into the Blackburn family instantly, as if he had ALWAYS been there. (For those of you familiar with the Blackburn family, you know it takes a very special person to fit in with us!) He went to family activities, lived with my Aunt and Uncle and instantly became a favorite of mine. We would go on shooting outings, four wheeling, camping, had an Olympics event of throwing rocks at different signs, hiking and anything else that was fun. One night we went out for foot long hot dogs and cruised the strip. I remember this trip because it was so fun, and also because I had just gotten braces and I had to cut up my hot dog to eat it, lame for a foot long dog.... I will never forget an inside joke of "It's Splash and it's WONDERFUL!!!" from that night. Brian and I have cruised the strip on his motorcycle, watched SNL over the phone, had many deep talks (one which he told me the guy I was hanging out with at the time was not good enough... I laughed but later that year, once I realized this for myself the hard way, ran straight to his house in search of some comfort...) we had many laughs and silly nicknames and inside jokes that seemed so insignificant just a week ago, but priceless now!!!
Of course there are things I wish I had said or done, that is only natural when you lose someone you love, no matter how unexpected/expected it is... My inbox for text messages contains a text from Brian, a simple "Thank You." That message will always be a reminder to me of how appreciative this guy was. That message has haunted me a little, I wish I would have responded something, anything, just so he would have known I was there... Maybe he did know I was there, maybe he didn't want to bug me or maybe the thought never crossed his mind. I will never know but I hope he knew how much he meant to me, how much I loved him and how much I loved having him around.
A promise I make today and forever is to never forget the Brian I always knew. I will remember the good man he was, the gentleman he was and the friend he has always been. I will always remember our crazy times and happy times. Brian was always thinking of someone else, never himself. I would get random calls at work from Brian asking if I heard him honk. I would laugh, I couldn't hear traffic from my office.. But one day I was outside the Bank taking a breather and I heard a honk and knew it had to be him and it was! After that I started honking whenever I was close or within a mile of his house and call him to see if he heard it... I will continue to honk when I get close to his house, I will still refer to him as Booger Brian Fellow, I will tell some random thing that doesn't make much sense and then slyly say "gottcha!" I will always check my forehead after I have wiped it with a Kleenex. When we go out four wheeling I will stop and throw a rock at some random thing just for Brian.
A great gift I have been given here on earth has been to know Brian and love him. I will always count my life special because he was in it. He exited too soon, but his memory will last as long as I live. For his friendship and memories I am forever Thankful for.
God be with you till we meet again Booger Brian Fellows.... Till we meet again....