Sunday, November 2, 2008
Where My Brother Once Stood
By George W. Beasley
2 Samuel 18:30 (ESV): “And the king said, ‘Turn aside and stand here.’ So he turned aside and stood still.”
I write this story in memory of my brother, Chris, who died at the young age of thirty-seven. It’s been almost three years since he passed away. He ran as far as he could and as long as he could. His pain and suffering never left him. Finally, it took his life.
This picture is where he once stood. Chris and I had many memories on this pier, sitting there in the night hours with a dim light in the background, just enough to light up our faces. The sounds of the water were so calm, and to this day, I still hear the silence. The conversations were always light and never too deep. Home would come up now and then, but we mostly talked about the future. Chris talked about his hopes and dreams, and I talked about mine.
Today, I visited the pier again, thinking of him and recalling the beautiful memories we had there. I usually stand right where he stood, look out over the water, and listen as if to hear his voice, but there is nothing but silence now. This is truly a special place and not just because this is where my brother once stood. This is also where my girls have stood, where many of my friends have stood, and where the love of my life now stands, my sweet Lisa. I love you, Lisa!
As Lisa and I sat there today, I carved our initials into the wood once again. I often do this because I forget where I have carved our initials in the past. There are hundreds of names carved on this pier. This tells me of all the others that have once stood here. Not just Boys Home boys and girls, but many in the community and many who came to vacation at Lake Waccamaw. Many dreams of love and a future were born here; the carvings tell me so.
I was reminded today by an old and new friend of just how short life can be. I called my friend for the first time in some thirty years. Her voice sounded the same as it did thirty years ago as she said, “We can’t meet today; someone has died, and we will be going to the funeral home.” As I listened to her explain, I was sad, not to miss our meeting, but for all of those who once had hopes and dreams like Chris. I was sad for those who loved her, and I knew what pain and suffering they were going through. As I walked out to the end of that pier today and stood where my brother once stood, I was reminded that life is brief, and it seems to take us places we never thought we would go. My journey has been filled with adventures, great joy, and many heartaches; I know am blessed to still be standing where my brother once stood.
There are so many twists and turns on this journey of life. Many people try to explain the twists and turns, but they cannot. For me, it is where my brother once stood. The memories I have will be part of me until I no longer stand. Then others will walk the same path as I have and stand where I stood and say, “I once stood here.” The water will whisper the hopes and dreams they had and will tell stories of the many who have stood there. We serve a wonderful God who has allowed me into so many lives, both the standing and the once stood. I am thankful to each of you for sharing your lives with me, not just your hopes and dreams, but what has crushed you and caused you pain and suffering, what has turned your dreams into nightmares, and what has cursed you for a lifetime.
To end this story is impossible, as life continues. To apply this story to your life and mine, we must stand where our brothers and sisters once stood. Leaning on their memories, their hopes, and their dreams. Remembering all the good of life and how blessed we are to still be where they once stood. I love you, Chris; thank you for the memories, the hopes, and the dreams of where you once stood.
Never let go of your hopes and dreams. This is where you stand today!