My life is beautiful. My life has been beautiful since the day I was brought into this world. Since April 22, 1994, I have been surrounded by amazing people who care about me more than I can comprehend. I was born into a world where I already had life-long friends. I was born into a world where I didn't just have my own incredible parents and family to raise me and take care of me and teach me, believe in me, support me, and love me, I have several other mom's and dad's who have raised me, taken care of me, taught me, believed in me, supported me, and loved me. As if it's not enough to already have a huge family, I have an extended family that I can't even begin to count. All of these people collectively have made me the person that I am. They have all taught me different lessons, but the common thread of their teachings is this: live passionately and with purpose, because you only have one life to live.
I try to not ever forget this. And I typically don't. But we're all human, and sometimes in the midst of all our happiness and perfection, we forget that we aren't guaranteed this beautiful life forever, the only thing we are guaranteed is change; for better or for worse. We forget that life is ruled by entropy; a lack of order or predictability. We forget that life happens and life happens fast. We forget that disease, illness, injury, and death do not discriminate, no matter how good of a person you are. And that pisses me off.
I'm not a religious person, I've never been. But I've always been a spiritual person. I believe in destiny and fate, I believe in Karma, I believe in the power and will of the human mind, I believe that our souls and our energy always carry on, and ultimately I believe that good things should happen to good people and bad things should not. But obviously that is not the case, because terrible things happen to good, innocent, underserving people all the time. And that hurts my head and my heart.
My first true encounter with this kind of unfairness was when I was 15. This was when my little brother was finally diagnosed with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy I, a degenerative muscle disease in the same family as ALS, after years and years of trying to figure out what was going on. Type-I DM is more severe than type-II; my brother has type-I. The next shock came when I was 18, when Nate Avery unexpectedly passed away after slipping and hitting his head at Lake Powell. Just this week, one of my very best friend's dad, who has been like a surrogate father to me my whole life, was just diagnosed with brain cancer. On what planet is that fair? On what planet is that part of a plan? My brother is the most incredible, kind, and loving person I know. Nate was a neurosurgeon with the biggest heart. Brian is the father of 4 of my closest friends with an infectious laugh and an eye for fun that is unmatched.
The unfortunate realization is that life isn't fair, and disease and death don't care how great or how rotten you are. These things happen for no reason at all. The best part is this: life carries on. Life hurts, and it hurts bad, but we (I'm speaking on behalf of all my lovely friends) are strong. Our parents raised us that way. They taught us to find beauty everywhere. They taught us to take tragedy and be productive with it. We know that there always always lessons to be learned, we know to open our eyes and our hearts, and live every day to the absolutely fullest, so that when our time comes, we haven't skimped out on anything in life.
Beth: I've thought you were Wonder Woman for as long as I can remember. I mean the resemblance between you and Diana Prince is uncanny... Which would explain so much. You are an incredible lady who has always put other people before yourself. You have a determination and resilience within you that is rarely found in other people (unless we count your kids). You've never looked at life and thought: why me? You've always looked at a challenge as an opportunity for growth and learning--and you never let anyone around you give up. You pick people up and carry them, and help them, and push them, and fight for them, which is why you are such a good wife, mommy, nurse, and mentor.
Charlie, Davis, Kegan, and Blake: You guys are the strongest, most amazing family I have ever known. Change is hard; I see my brother changing every single day. But ultimately, Jake is the same person he has always been: my little brother. He has a severe disability, but he is living HIS life in the best way HE can, every single day. He loves and is loved unconditionally. Your dad is the same. He will always be your dad. He will always be the same amazing person he has been, with the same passion for life he's always had, and he will always love you the same. He's instilled that character in all of you, and you guys will carry that with you forever. In the midst of all of this, don't forget to live your lives too; live your life the way your dad would want you to: make it fucking awesome.
Brian: You've always eaten dessert first, you never skimped out on life and fun. You are the greatest. You have an amazing family and an amazing support system standing by you. Nate's energy is with you. You're going to beat this one way or another, because that's the person you are. Keep that fire burning. I am so grateful and thankful I've had you and your family with me my whole life. I love you all.
I don't want to say that the hard part is over, because it's not. But now that we know the diagnosis, we can start to move forward, instead of standing stationary in a hospital room waiting for the doctors to tell us something. Brian is coming home, a place with much better energy and a lot more comforting than a hospital room, where he will be surrounded by dozens of people who love him and Mimi's cooking. Surgery is scheduled and from there the healing can start. We all need to put our best foot forward, look deep within ourselves and be there for Brian and the rest of the family, we all need to help them fight, and think all the good thoughts, so that from here onward, Brian gets to live his Best Life Ever.
To anyone reading this: please send all your love and positive thoughts to the Boyers. Say a prayer, write a note, replay a great memory with Brian, meditate, practice, hike a mountain, go skiing... Whatever you do, do it with passion for Brian.
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!