Final Words

bsmithBarb asked me to give a short eulogy at Brent’s service yesterday. This is what I shared with those who attended.

This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I have known Brent for a fair bit more than forty years.

From trading comics and bubble gum cards in the schoolyard to goofing around in his Grandpa Dick’s Hardware to slinging dice with our friends playing Dungeons & Dragons, we graduated to chasing girls and getting into the kind of trouble that young men’ll get into.

He was more than a friend to me, he was a brother and we shared a lot over the years, weathering good times and bad.

When Barb asked me to share a few words with you today I struggled to come up with something that encapsulated what made Brent special to so many of us.

To be honest, most of the stories I have to share are not exactly the sort one tells at church.

But then Shannon, gods love her, brought up the perfect thing, something that is notable in that it was the one thing that drove me absolutely batty about him.

See, Brent was a voracious reader. He loved books as much as anything. But he had this peculiar habit of reading the ending first.

Drove me up the proverbial wall.

“Why?”, I’d ask. And he’d give you that wink and a smile of his and say, “It’s not worth reading if it doesn’t have a happy ending.”

Well, Brent, my brother, I hope you got yours.

If he could share his final words with us now, I suspect they would be these, “Some of it’s magic, and some of it’s tragic, but I had a good life all the way.”

Godspeed, Brent. I love you.

Yesterday was hard. Not as hard as Tuesday, but hard nonetheless. This morning as I sit here, and the snow is coming down to blanket Converse once more, I face the realization that my best friend is no longer a phone call or short drive away, that the next time I look across the table from behind my Dungeon Master’s Screen, he’ll not be there tweaking his character sheet and warming up his dice. But he’ll be in my heart and I guess that will have to be enough.

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