Marshall's music, t-cells, t-shirts and more

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back to the Future Day

Conrad was an intelligent kid. I'm pretty sure he would have majored in the sciences if he stuck around long enough to go to college. He had a great love and compassion for animals and would often bring a new creature home to live with us. You name it: fish, frogs, birds, lizards, snakes, rabbits, even our dog Misty. Conrad always seemed to find a way to convince our parents to let us "keep it". 

He also loved computers and computer games, and I could easily see him going into the computer science field. He loved music and singing. He had begun teaching himself hymns on the piano and even writing and playing his own songs on the guitar.

We used to trade basketball cards and we bargained and swindled until we had built up a pretty substantial collection. He loved being active; basketball and roller-blading being two of his favorite activities.

At times it was hard to be his younger brother because one day he'd be my best friend and the next weekend he was 'too cool' to have anything to do with me. At the time it was devastating but I understand it much better now.

In simple terms Conrad was fun. He used to tend our younger brother and sister. Aside from the heaping pots of macaroni and cheese and the learning activities he came up with he also had a very serious rule, "HAVE FUN".

On a day when so many are thinking of time travel, I am also contemplating what I could do if I could go back in time. You see,17 years ago today my brother Conrad succumbed to his demons and took his own life. A life full of meaning and purpose and yet the clouds were too dark, the pain was too strong. He has now been away from us, just as long as he was with us and it still hurts. I never did get to to say goodbye to my dear brother. However, as with many things in life, this tragedy inspired a me to write a song.

Now I find myself fighting for the very thing that my brother was desperate to escape, mortality. I can't tell you everything that lead up to Conrad's decision to jump from that overpass. If I could time travel that is the first place I would go. I would tell him how much I care, that his life matters to many and how much we love him.

I don't currently own a nifty time traveling delorean, but I can live every day as if it were my last. I can reach out and be kind. If you know someone who is truly struggling don't wait. Let them know they are loved. Help them get help. Don't wait for someone else - it may be too late.

One thing I've learned as I've struggled through cancer treatments is that there is so much good in the world. There are so many good people who want to and are driven to serve by the light of Christ that burns within them. 

Remember these words from one of my favorite recording artists Dave Matthews,

"Gotta do much more than believe if you really wanna change things! 
Gotta do much more than believe if we want to see the world change! 
Gotta do much more than believe go on and try it go on and try it! 
Gotta do much more than believe if we want to see the world change!