Got to Be the Way It Is

Our friend Brandon died this week of a brain tumor.

Brandon was the shit. He was funny, smart, active – a trusted friend, a caring husband, a great dad, a thoughtful person, just the guy you knew would always be in your corner. Even if he was across the country, he would be the first person to encourage, throw out a joke, just A. Great. Guy.

And let me tell you about the love he shared with his wife. When I met Brandon and Ericka, I just thought they were both so cool. Young, vibrant, full of laughter and inside jokes and just, the way they were together made my heart sing. There is a quote from my favorite book ever – Beloved by the great Toni Morrison:

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

This is how I thought of B & E. Just, friends of each others’ minds.

Last night I went into my backyard and looked up at a hanging, shrouded sliver of a moon, surrounded by specks of pinhole white. I didn’t know what to scream into the night, only that I wanted to. That I wanted to just launch myself like a rocket straight to space – to leave this planet and everything that is hurting right now, if only for a few hours. To just let it slip away. Nothing this year makes sense, and Brandon was always looking for that. To make it make sense. I want to do that. I need to do it. I don’t know how. There’s no amount of sense I can make out of his death, not right now.

I know this, though: I will strive to be like him. I will always try. I will be that corner person for others. And I will be there for his family and the family he had in our little group. I will show up for my friends. I will show up, period. I won’t wait.

If you are reading this today, know that you too can be there for someone who needs you.

That you too can always try.

That you can touch the stars, and the stars are infinite.