To arrive is to “reach a place at the end of a journey or a stage in a journey.” I appreciate the latter part of this definition because I feel like we never arrive as long as we’re living. Maybe I’m the only one, but I look back on my high school days & I remember looking forward to graduation because it meant I was going to college. Then looking forward to graduating from college because it meant I could finally apply all that I’d been learning in my teaching career. At another point in my life I looked forward to falling in love… getting married… having children… owning a home… the list goes on. I reflect on the things I’ve accomplished in my life and I acknowledge that some people from the outside looking in may think I’ve “arrived” (for the lack of better term). I, personally, reflect on my life and see so much more I long for. Don’t get me wrong, I am soooooo very grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with. I think it’s just human nature to desire more or even more so what we don’t already have.
This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about an old childhood friend. He is actually more than my childhood friend. He’s the first boy I remember having a crush on. We used to kick each other under the table during Sunday school and chase each other around church when it was over. Everyone always accused us of liking each other, but we would always deny it. Brandon was extremely smart, super talented and had a great sense of humor. He was also a military brat, so he was destined to move away. I am used to that growing up in Oceanside, unfortunately. I estimate/think he moved away when we were finishing middle school. After he moved away I wrote him a letter & we were pen pals for a very brief stint. I’m pretty sure I revealed to him I had a crush on him as if he didn’t already know. Not sure I expected a romantic relationship to emerge from that announcement, but I guess I thought he should know. Haha!
On Saturday, June 10th I received this text message from my mom…
This was one of those text messages that had me in immediate dialogue with the Lord, but at the same time I was already in full belief that Brandon was going to walk out of that hospital fully recovered and ready to return to life as he knew it. On Sunday, June 11th I received this text message from my mom…
My heart broke at that moment. I was in utter disbelief. A wave of emotions hit me as I reflected on the Brandon I knew & the Brandon I was able to follow via social media. Brandon had A LOT going for himself. Before I mentioned Brandon was super smart. He actually went to school to become a doctor, and he earned the title of Dr. Rogers. That, in and of itself, is remarkable. I know less than a handful of people my age who set out to become a doctor and actually followed through with it. Aside from that, he was an extremely talented singer. I have memories of singing in the children’s choir with him when we were young. In fact, he was so good at it that he would often sing with the adult choir. His voice was beyond his years. This past January Brandon sang with Boyz II Men on a stage in Las Vegas. Since then he auditioned for America’s Got Talent & I’m certain he had a strong possibility of doing well on the show. From many of his posts on social media and just what I know/remember about him & the little bit of contact we did have over the years, I know Brandon to have lived fully, loved hard & laughed often!!!
So, with his death I am even more inclined to think hard on this idea of “arrival.” He was a doctor who’s singing abilities were opening up doors for him that people dream about. There was never any doubt in my mind that he would be successful when we grew up. From the outside looking in, my view showed Brandon gaining so much momentum toward the close of his 30th year of life. I’m not going to lie, I went from trusting God for a blessing to questioning how He could allow something to happen to celebrating the fact that Brandon is now at home with his heavenly father. When I say I’ve been through a whirlwind of emotions this week, it could very well be an understatement. I had reached this conclusion already, but with the death of Brandon this week I am even more inclined to believe: We never arrive!
As I said before, I look at the life Brandon lived and I truly believe he lived well! His death encourages me to live well… to stop thinking that there’s an endpoint, because there’s not. I find myself thinking one day I’ll own a home with land. One day my marriage will be perfect & I will have enough wisdom to share with other young married couples. Or one day I’ll have this motherhood thing figured out. Or one day… The truth is “one day” is TODAY!!! Damn it! I’m sorry. Excuse my language, but let’s stop looking forward to the future and be present in the NOW! My marriage is what it is & all I can do is seek God’s wisdom today in the everyday moments of life on how to love my husband well. The same is true about my role as mom, daughter, friend, teacher, etc. We DO NOT arrive. There is no arrival. Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right when he said, “life is a journey not a destination.” Glen always says, “let your presence be your gift.” This rings so much more loudly for me now.
Brandon, Thank You for the life you lived. Your light beamed bright & I know that God used you while you walked physically with us. I am even more so convinced that your death will be used to not only encourage me, but everyone who knew and loved you. Your presence was/is a gift.
A post of Brandon’s from September 2016.
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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