Brandon, Austin, and Ryan
Our friends, Mike and Molly have raised three sons; Brandon (22), Austin (20), and Ryan (who would have been 18 next week). Growing up, the boys did all the things three brothers do, and during the eulogy for Ryan, Austin shared some hilarious moments from their childhoods, and I wanted to share a few.
First, a little background. Twenty-two years ago, before wearing seatbelts was the law, Molly had the misfortune of losing Brandon out the back door of a borrowed car as she took a corner. Brandon suffered some serious road rash on his face. Then, one day, six years later, Mike headed back to work after lunch, not realizing that Ryan was playing near his car. In a horrific accident, he ran over Ryan's foot. Molly later told me it looked "like bomb had blown up on his poor little foot." Fortunately, everyone healed from these events, but Austin felt like it was only a matter of time before he, too, suffered at the hands of his parents. They joked about their being a curse on the boys, and Austin carried with him a sense of doom that his turn was just around the corner.
Here's what Austin said in the eulogy:
Mom, Dad, sorry to share this, but it is just too good. Two of the three of us have been run over by our parents' cars; one by Mom and one by Dad. It was ironic that both accidents occurred on June 21st of different years, and each victim was five years old. I'm the one they didn't get. But we all survived those parents of ours, because we stuck together. (Incidentally, I was later hit by a car while on my bike. It was a stranger; not my parents, but I still felt like the curse had been lifted. The driver couldn't believe her eyes when I jumped up and high-fived my brothers, all of us laughing our heads off!)
We three brothers did everything together; watched Ryan get yelled at for carving his name into our new wood furniture, played spies at dad's office, acted out our own Grammy awards, played countless games of Poker, Hearts, and Monopoly, created our own backyard ski resorts, and pretended to be our own WWF star-wrestling team, called "The Naked Men." Ryan was fearless. He was always himself. We used to love spying on our neighbors; always carrying little notepads like we were private investigators. I can still remember Brandon and I watching Ryan get caught spying inside our neighbor's house!
Then there was the time the three of us built a massive snow wall in the middle of our obscure street and built forts with peep-holes on the sides, to watch the rare passing car run into our wall. What we didn't account for was the fact that the freezing temperatures made our wall into a big block of ice. Before we knew it, a passing car came full-speed up the hill and absolutely nailed the ice wall. The sound was a massive "BOOM," followed by a release of profane language from a fast and furious driver. Brandon and I were already safely tucked in our forts, but I can still picture little Ryan, struggling with all his might to sneak into his little fort, as if the man wouldn't see him running. The guy got out of his car and knocked on all the neighbors doors, demanding to know who had done it. Dad told him that he had no idea, and I'm sure he didn't. My brothers and I all sat in our forts, watching the guy rap on all the doors, our hearts beating out of our chests. Well, it as a job well-done, Ryan, because Mom and Dad just found out about this yesterday, and the guy never found out!
Although Ryan's adventures with his brothers have been cut short, you can see they will have many memories to draw from in days to come. Austin, thank you for delivering such an uplifting, positive, healing eulogy. Ryan would have been proud.
If you are a man with stories of brotherly mischief, I would love to read about it!