I am proud and honored to say that Brian Andrew Morden a.k.a. *Ar-Isildur is my son. He and I shared many experiences and traits, some of which I know were a blessing to others and some which were a source of frustration at times especially to his dad, my wonderful, wise husband who played the other part in creating baby Brian. (AND) Who, with many many others, helped Brian to grow into the beautifully special and unique young man he was.
Brian and I shared a love of Italian food - I had spaghetti the night before he was born and Fred was reminded of that before Brian made his entrance into the world. Brian and I shared a passion for computers and finding friends on the Internet. I know he broke my record for meeting Internet friends in person - something Fred, Jamin, and I had the great pleasure to share in. Brian and I both loved to read, but it was years before he and Jamin could convince me that starting and finishing the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was worth it. Tolkien is definitely worth it and during the latter part of last week Brian and I explored how to find God in The Lord of the Rings.
Brian and I shared a love for the Altoona Area High School bands and I was privileged to be on the field with him during alumni day in 1999. I got such a kick out of sharing in many of Brian's video creations, a love for both of us. Probably the one I'll remember the most will be the driver's ed video. I was the camerawoman for the two Brians, two very special friends.
We're both very indecisive at times, impatient, and make others wait for us. Most of our friends and family forgive us these faults. Brian loved his family and was never ashamed to be around us. He shared so many experiences with us - trips to Europe, the Grand Cayman Islands, Seattle, Washington, Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, NJ, and many more wonderful places. We also shared many closer-to-home experiences including Brian's second viewing of the Two Towers on the same day, December 18, 2002. It was probably one of the last times he could really fully enjoy himself.
We're both very stubborn at times so we both fought to the end, believing what the chaplain at Children's Hospital said, "Never give up hope. God does miracles and I'm praying for that miracle for you on THIS side of heaven. But, if it doesn't happen here, it will happen in heaven." All of us who loved Brian were ready to continue helping him fight like hell as his aunt Betty used to say. He did - and he did not disappoint his friends, his family or himself.
Brian was way stronger than I ever thought; he was a better person than I dared dream. He was afraid to look toward heaven even after he had suffered so much because he was afraid that he would never see some of his friends who were atheists there. I'm sure Brian has discovered that even those who don't believe in Jesus until the last second before their death will see him in heaven. The thief who was crucified with Jesus asked Jesus, "Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King." Jesus said to him, "I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me."
Fred and I loved Brian very much and he knew that. He also knew how many other people loved and cared about him - Grammy and Poppop, Jamin, Uncle Scott, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Lisa, Aunt Yvonne, Aunt Lori, Matthew and Kayleigh, Uncle Paul, Chelsea and Nicole, Aunt Louise, and the rest of the family. They showed him their love in so many wonderful ways. He also knew that an incredible number of friends and strangers loved and cared about him because they/you took the time to send cards, email, gifts, call or visit.
Even still, I wish we had had more time to love Brian, this side of heaven. We miss him so much already. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Frances Gunther who wrote about her son in Death Be Not Proud, " Missing him now I am haunted by my own shortcomings, how often I failed him. Today, when I see parents impatient or tired or bored with their children, I wish I could say to them, But they are alive, think of the wonder of that. Exult and sing."
We will continue to love Brian until we die and hopefully that love will be apparent each and every day as we love and care for each other, his friends, and even strangers. We plan to continue Brian's legacy and fight against this horrible disease and we hope to see a cure before we meet him in heaven.