Continued from yesterday, the letter my son Kirby, 20, wrote to the parents of his precious friend, Brad, after his death:
Brad loved to play harmless pranks and he definitely got the upper hand on me on more than one occasion. He’d joke about this and that and even managed to rope others and me like cattle when he had the chance. Thinking about it now just puts a huge grin on my face.
Just about every time I talked to Brad I laughed and smiled. Brad was a heck of a story teller; and let me tell you, that boy could tell a story. A cute girl he was talking to turned into a model, a pronghorn turned into an 8 point, and a simple, yet somewhat nervous, presentation in structures class turned into an aural novel of “dripping sweat, a thousand people watching, and whole bunch of ‘Showeeeeeeees!!”’ Man I loved it when Brad told a story. I could be having an awful day and get a text from Brad:
Hey man, boy do I have a STORY for you! Call you in a few.
And I knew I was about to laugh. I have literally cried over how funny some of the stories Brad used to tell. It was unbelievable how much fun he was and how he lived life so passionately. There was certainly never a dull moment with Brad.
And then there was that truck; that big, green, mammoth of a truck. Complete with every bell and whistle known to man. (Literally). Camo deflectors line the windows. Camo seat liners are only appropriate. A cattle dummy sits in the truck bed for Brad to practice his cattle ropin’ skills. A toolbox packed to the brim made it a Home Depot on wheels. A green John Deere cowbell hangs from the trailer hitch acting as a warning bell for all to get out of the way as he backs up. However, the cowbell only serves as a warning when Brad isn’t sounding the train horn announcing his arrival. That train horn was something else…loudest thing you’d ever hear, “just touch the red and black wires together!”
One thing that sticks out about Brad to me is how many traits, practices, and symbols that were so uniquely him. He was certainly a “character” to say the least, but Brad was so much more than just your average character. He loved people and he showed that love in his own way. Brad loved being around people and in fact, he recognized he needed to be surrounded with people in this Christian world:
We were not meant to be alone in this Christian world, we were meant for community and it’s through community that we reach heights that would be unattainable alone, sometimes I know I try so hard to do things myself, but I soon realize that I get worn out and I need someone there to push me and someone there to challenge me and for me to challenge others. You fall down in life, or in my case you fall a lot, but I have been blessed to have friends and parents to be there to pick me up and hold my hand, dust me off and point me in the direction I need to go, and also walking along side me to make me the man that God meant for me to be.