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.