We spent Fourth of July with friends and cousins in Fredericksburg. We were at the cousin’s house in the country and they had some additional friends over that we hadn’t met before. The new friends had a little girl who was about 7 or 8 years old. She was the only girl and didn’t really want to play with the couple of boys her age that were there. Somehow she and Bryan got to talking and teasing each other…he was “play scaring” her and she squealed and laughed. They were having fun with each other and she stuck by his side for a while. She sat beside him while we watched the fireworks being shot in the yard. She sang songs from Frozen and he told her to sing them to me because she was a pretty good singer. At some point during the evening she started calling him her BFF… Best Friends Forever. She trailed after him and it was funny and cute. Her parents, thought it was great how Bryan was interacting with the daughter and we all started calling him ” BFF” instead of Bryan.
We were sitting in lawn chairs and chatting after the guys had shot off an arsenal of fireworks into the black night sky. Bryan and her Dad were talking about “guys things”…in conversation the Dad told Bryan that the little girl was his youngest and he had two older children. Then the Dad asked…”the question.” It took a few seconds but Bryan said “Yes, we have 2.” I sat in silence…knowing what was coming next…I wanted to see if he could do it…he hasn’t been able to for over 4 years. And here it came…the next question…”Where do they live… what do they do?” I was sitting beside Bryan so I put my hand on his arm and waited…he opened his mouth and took a deep breath…and then held it… his mouth open to speak. I lightly rubbed his arm and looked at him…waiting for his answer. He couldn’t do it…he stared straight ahead….he let out his breath with a small grunt… and closed his mouth. My heart broke…again… for him…tears started coming to my eyes. I squeezed his arm…turned to the man… and answered for him. “We have a son, Taylor, who is 24, lives in Lufkin and is a Diesel Mechanic. We also have a daughter, Lauren, who was 21 when she died from a 4 wheeler accident, just over 4 years ago.” I was proud that at least he didn’t leave when the conversation started in that direction…he usually does. He just doesn’t like to share that part of our life with people who don’t know us…it is still to hard and painful for him.