On a “perfect weather” Saturday, an unlikely group of people convened for a single purpose —to honor Brian David Passsarelli. Our original expectation of around fifty people quickly became three times that number and overflowed the enclosed pavilion. Once we realized that the shear number of individuals could not be squeezed into the enclosure, we picked up chairs and reconvened under a grove of oak trees. Looking around the group, I saw people sitting on chairs, others on picnic tables, and even more standing.
Joy’s dad reminded us of the story about the Little Drummer Boy. Each of Joy’s four parents read a selection of scriptures or spiritual readings. Eleven-year-old Sidney Dean sang a song she wrote for Uncle Brian. A dear friend from Brian’s past played and sang. Joy’s dad invited those who wanted to speak to do so. For over an hour, stories, testimonies, tears and laughter filled the Mansfield Dam Park. Repeated statements of “brother” “love” and “always a gentleman” over flowed our hearts as we experienced the genuine love and respect of Brian’s friends.
Another son in law’s father provided a golf cart and delivered load after load of friends and family to the point on which Brian’s Memorial Rock and Plaque will remain. The exact location of Brian’s stone sits in a location that provides a panoramic view of Lake Travis. Sitting in the area has the power to transform us into a reflection of God and the unparalleled grandeur of our Creator.
Throughout Brian’s long journey with cancer, his friends stepped up with courage and strength. One afternoon, I opened the front door to greet a large bearded man who strode quickly to Brian’s hospital bed in the living room. After taking in Brian’s condition, his friend’s body sank in obvious grief. For a long time, this trusted friend sat beside Brian’s bed in the living room. I liked this leader of men and a brother to Brian. Other friends and band members revealed their true sweetness as they comforted their drummer, “their lion” and they supported Brian’s transition to a better place to play and sing. Brian’s friends demonstrated love.
During this journey, Brian blessed all of us countless times. Getting to know his friends added to my gifts. Thank you to those who sat in silence, who brought food, who offered prayers, and to those who brought instruments for one final amazing “jam” session. Gifts, like friends, come in a variety of packages. I recognized each person’s expression as a moment with God on this Divine Walk. Thank you, Brian. You gave more than any of us gave back to you. Thank you Ben and other friends and band members. You humbled me with your beauty and sincerity. You honored Brian and in doing so, you exalted God.