Because of Bryan, we survived.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

While I have heard this old saying for many, many years, these last three years, these last 1095 days, have taught me WHY these eleven words, this one statement is so authentically true.

It was a Friday morning, February 23, 2018 that I lost my son Bryan. Since then, there has not been a day in my life, that I have not awakened to this terrible tragedy.

Many of you know the story. The context was simple. Bryan and I, in our spare time, had gone to finish a project for a family awaiting a newly renovated house. It was an old house to be moved into by a Veteran and her family.

Sometime that morning, close to 11am, we were accosted by two young men who entered the house, apparently, based upon their statements, to rob us. Bryan met them, they pulled out a gun, and shot him. One of the assailants ran outside and Bryan ran after him before falling in the front yard where he would lie momentarily as his Spirit and Soul would transition from this temporary life to a life without end.

While this exchange was happening between two worlds, one of the assailants stood four feet away just outside of a small bathroom and shot me five times. Somehow my life would be spared.

My, family, our friends, and all who loved and knew Bryan would soon receive the news. The news that Bryan was gone. The news that we had all lost a man in the prime of his life. The news that Jenna had lost her husband, Sophia Grace had lost her father, Lauren had lost her brother, Lynda had lost her first born, Eric had lost… The news that Today is the first day of the rest of your life remains true even as we discount its veracity in an attempt to forget how precious life is.

Over the next several weeks, I would like to pull out of me and share what is and has been inside of me these last 1095 days.

It’s important because my life and your life have met once again. It’s important because Bryan is the central character in this event that will forever remain a mystery to us all.

While I’ll try not to ramble beyond ramblings necessity, I’ll depend on my two editors, Lynda and Lauren to pull me back with their red pens.

To be honest, this is a story full of seemingly unrelenting tragedy, suffering, and grief. But, it has also been true, in my own 1095 day journey, to experience hope… that bridge to tomorrow. And Bryan, I must say, has been a constant reminder for me that hope does spring eternal, if we will allow it into our lives.

There are many topics inside of 2/23/18 which need to be accounted for. I intend to do just that regardless of who may be curious or not.

I’ll close for today with these four statements which I concluded my message at Life Community this past Sunday.

Three years ago our family has an option.

Because of Bryan, we survived.

We chose to live so that Bryan could be seen in us.

God’s grace has endured in spite of the ambushes.

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