We lived one street over from Brian and Dana in Temple. We went to church together, played softball and water skied and golfed and watched each others kids. It was a great situation and friendship. I was still coaching and teaching in Belton when Brian was diagnosed, but just as Dana expressed at the funeral, I was confident in Brian's healing because he made me feel that way. He had cancer, he was going to beat it and we would grow old as great friends.
When we left Belton in 2007 and I did not do a good job of keeping up with Brian and. We talked when Shar and I would visit and played a few more rounds of golf in the summer but I was removed from the area and felt removed from the situation. I was emotionally unattached to the pain the White's were enduring. It was an error of mine and I wish I would have acted differently.
I sat with him this summer at church as we sang It Is Well With My Soul. I hugged his neck and kissed his cheek and told him how much he meant to me. He was fine, I was overcome with emotion. I was hurting for him, but my life resumed back in Keller and distance caused my emotions to ease. When the cancer returned, I was again comfortable that Brian would win. He always had and would continue to do so. I had no reason to doubt.
With the latest rounds of scans showing more and more cancer areas in his body I began to fear a negative outcome. A lack of faith or a pessimistic outlook. Either way I began for the first time to visualize what we all dreaded. Seeing Brain and Dana at Thanksgiving was difficult. Family all around and Brian was obviously feeling bad, and our only communication was a hug in the hallway of church.
My heart sank when we heard the results after his Saturday night emergency room visit. I was in shock, but still without tears. I hurt, but I could not bring myself to cry. The news of Brian's passing came to us on Thursday morning. Shar called me at school and I went home to pack for our family. We arrived in Temple that evening. Shar went to serve Dana Friday and stayed until Sunday. I was busy with the kids and still guarded my heart from what had happened. The viewing was Sunday afternoon and it was my first time to see Dana. I expected to fall into pieces, but she was so strong and so drained that I fed off of her response to me. I kissed her cheek, told her of my love for her husband and family and went to the store to buy her a Dr. Pepper. If I stay busy I stay calm. A trick I learned from my dad and Bubba.
Lunch before the funeral was fine. Great stories with Patrick and Bullock and other family members. I laughed with Dana at the ties she had us wearing and we agreed that it was Brian's last joke on the pallbearers. The time from 11:30 to 1:30 was a very peaceful pre funeral meal, and even though I knew the actual ceremony would be difficult for me I was still not fully aware of the fact that my friend was no longer with us.
Too emotional to finish tonight.