I CHOOSE to put on my hat of LOVE. I proudly place upon my head the hat of FRIENDSHIP. I put upon my head the hats of COMPASSION, MERCY and FORGIVENESS. I put on my FIRST PERSON hat. These hats are the KEYS to VISION, MEMORY and CLOSURE.
As I left the Salvation Army this morning I had the rare priviledge of witnessing something truy spectacular that few will rarely see. At least a hundred men of all ages and walks of life were filing past me. Because the Salvation Army has multiple programs to truly help those in need, it was safe to assume that these men were part of one such program. I was right after further inquiry of one of the individuals that filed past me. They were all part of a Substance Abuse program authored and administered by the Salvation Army.
I then became choked up as I realized that I was witnessing a parade of the bravest, most valiant men I have EVER had the priviledge of being around, let alone being able to "brag" on the many FRIENDSHIPS I have acquired on a complex and difficult journey of my own through depression, suicidal thoughts, financial disaster and mistakes and multiple domestic issues that has resulted in the lengthy separation and estrangement from my three beautiful children Zackary (21), Hannah (19 this month) and Noah (16).
A man stopped me in the hallway this morning and said, "You are Brogan's dad, right?" I almost said, "Yes, I am" but knowing the TRUTH, said, "No, but I did know Brogan." and went on to tell this man the little I had known, and have learned about Brogan in the last several days.
I learned this morning in conversating with Mr. Polk, that Brogan had a tattoo on his chest that read, in part, "Linda, RIP" in LOVING MEMORY of his mother who died when Brogan was 15.
Brogan, I know you are dead and gone, but your Spirit shall LIVE forever in OUR hearts...the hearts of men and women...friends and family that LOVED and LOVE you as their OWN. I want you to know, on behalf of myself and the friends you easily acquired during your short stay in Dallas, TX that your LIFE was not, nor will be in VAIN. The MEMORY of your LIFE shall be in OUR hearts FOREVER. Like you, my mother passed away when I was 15 and she was 33 due to colon cancer that was deemed inoperable 31 years ago this coming May, 2013. I can so relate to your pain and agony that overtook your spirit, soul and body. Those who have experienced this type of tradgedy can relate with us. Those who have not, cannot, or struggle to fully understand even when they want to.
Brogan, if you are "listening" and I sense you are, we want you to KNOW that we do not blame or accuse you of antything. In saying what I am bout to say, I neither condone or condemn the suicial victim such as yourself. What I am bout to say shakes my own theological position and even now hesitate to say what is on my heart. But, at the onset of this post I promised to be REAL real, so proceed, though cautiously.
Brogan, in speaking to multiple FRIENDS of yours...both in Atlanta, GA and Dallas, TX, I believe it is safe to say that you struggled with "demons" of your own...demons of alcoholism...demons of depression...demons of dispair...demons of hopelessness...demons of mental instability...and aultimately the Angel of Death, accompanied by none other than the Demon of Suicide and Lucifer himself who ALL lied to you and convinced you that your LIFE was ultimately not worth LIVING.
Saying all of this, and KNOWING the little I know about your faith, family and friends, I believe I am safe in concluding that you were and are a Child of the MOST HIGH God, and had FULLY given your HEART to our Lord Jesus Christ. I also believe that since OUR GOD is a merciful and forgiving GOD, WHO does not condemn those who have confessed their BELIEF in the SALVATION Jesus Christ provided through His Death on the cross 2,000 years ago, and His RESURECTION 3 days later, you are LIVING with HIM in heaven above. I mean, why would a God of Mercy and Compassion condemn one ailing, dying and sick BELIEVER to hell simply because the cause of DEATH had "suicide" associated with it, and "Let In" another BELIEVER who DIED of natural causes?
Please understand READER...I am not codoning SUICIDE. In fact, I want to strongly admonish the man, woman or child who is considering this option now, to PLEASE, PLEASE reconsider your optionS. You have OPTIONS. Despite how bad things have been, are, or you fear will become, you TRULY do have those in your LIFE that you can depend on, and who DO care for YOU, and will sorely MISS YOU if you CHOOSE to take your own LIFE...and the "fact" that you OWN your OWN life is a MISNOMER, squared. He, your CREATOR is the ONLY ONE that "owns" you, but will NEVER make you feel owned or used, because He LOVES you...and I...that MUCH.
Brogan, there are many, many things I wish I had said and done for you, but cannot...now. Not in person anyway. However, I call out to your spirit, and to the spirits of the dying, afraid and alone...Please KNOW you HAVE at least ONE FRIEND...no TWO. First and foremost His name is JESUS CHRIST. Secondly and not nearly as important, you have a FRIEND in me. I might have failed you in the past, and will most assuredly fail you in some way in the future, but there is a GOD Who is above EVERY created and heavenly being that will NEVER fail you nor forsake you. God the Father is HIS NAME...His Son's name is JESUS CHRIST and His HELPER and TEACHER is HOLY SPIRIT. He ALONE will guide you to ALL truth and SALVATION. His LOVE is ETERNAL and lasts FOREVER. Your situation on EARTH was and is TEMPORARY and MORTAL. Brogan, through your LIFE many have, and will come to KNOW your ABBA FATHER or "PaPa" as I have fondly grown accustomed to calling HIM.