Monday, May 27, 2013

A Life Well Lived- Remembering Bradley

UPDATE: Services for Bradley will be held at Living Streams Church at 10am on Friday, May 31st. Any and all are welcome to celebrate this hilarious man's life. 

When my heart feels heavy, I write.

My heart is completely broken today. I feel like I have gone on with “normal” life today because I had no choice- entertaining my in-laws, shopping at Cabela’s, playing with my little girl...but I feel completely detached from my body and it’s actions. My mind is on my friend Brad Piccirillo, and his wonderful family.

I have dug down deep to remember every possible moment that I have shared with you, and remember your smile, your laugh, and your great big bear hugs. I have replayed our memories from childhood and our adult reunions over and over in my head.

I remember learning how to swim at your house, and being so afraid to go down your slide. I was sure I would fall off.

I remember stepping on a bee outside of your house when I was just a kid, and our moms were working on my foot while you and our brothers laughed outside.

I remember driving around the little automatic kid car with Jeremy and you came and picked me up out of it to tickle me, and I was embarrassed because I had a dress on.

I remember having a loose tooth at your house and it was hurting me, and you just made fun of me. Typical Brad.

I remember being a teenager and being so obsessed with NSYNC, and that’s right when you joined a boy band. I was so giddy to know a REAL boy band member.

I remember always feeling so in love with you and wanting to marry you!

I remember our reunion at your house when I was 17, and seeing you and some other friends for the first time in years. We spent months driving back into Phoenix to have worship night with you all.

I remember running into you at a David Crowder concert after I started dating Daniel. You stole his seat and wouldn’t get up when he returned because you wanted to talk with me. Awkward.

I remember joking with you that you had waited too long to date me and missed your chance, and you just looked at me seriously and said “don’t joke like that”.

I remember spending time dancing and having fun with everyone at Jared and Kylee’s wedding- we hadn’t seen each other in months, maybe years.

And I remember talking to you just a few short weeks ago. You texted me anonymously and gave me the hint that you “had dated my brother for a long time... like his entire life, until he decided to get married and ruin everything”. I guessed it was you on the first try. YOU were the only option. And the only one who would stay with my brother for that long :)

This morning I woke up to a text saying that there had been a horrible accident, and that you were going to see Jesus. How does a person react to that?

When I was 11 years old, my best friend died from Cystic Fibrosis. I was outside looking for something in the shed when my parents called me in to tell me the news. I will never forget that moment.

When I was 16 years old, a good friend from high school died in a car accident 2 days before Christmas. I was just getting out of the shower and still in my towels when I got that text. I couldn’t move for minutes. I will never forget that moment.

This morning I was getting up to the sound of my baby’s coos and checked my phone... I will never forget this moment.

You are loved by so many. At a time like this, I think “why didn’t he die overseas?” and “why didn’t he die as a Marine?” and “Why did he have to come back to “normal” life and die this way?”. I think of your tattoo under your arm- and the time that you explained to me that it was the safest place to tattoo your dog tags in case you were blown up- it was the body part most likely to stay intact so they could identify you. Well, my friend, we know who you are. And we know WHERE you are.

I guess at a time like this we reflect on the memories, good times, conversations, lessons, and experiences we had. As my heart broke today and my brain started to feel cloudy, Jesus spoke to me and said “It is finished. He has done all I intended for him there. It is time for him to come home to me”. I wish that I knew how God worked and when and why he decides things like this. I wish I knew what Brad’s last act was that made God say “Yep, it’s time”.

So though my heart is broken, bruised and heavy today- though my eyes keep filling to the brim- though my body feels as if I am dragging it around- I know that many others will live because Brad died. And in so many ways. He served his country in the Marines, he shared his faith to all those around him, and he has donated his organs to those in need. He has provided life both physically and spiritually. Maybe that is why God called him home. 

With these words, I let go. Go to Jesus, Brad. Jump on his lap. Give him one of your big bear hugs. Sit at his feet and listen. Know the love that he created us to know. And thank you for being a servant here. You served many well, and I cannot wait to reunite AGAIN with you in heaven. Save me a seat. 

You were greatly loved here.

P.S. From a friend on his Facebook page- "The world just became a little less funny".