When Dave and I were planning our wedding in 2007, I asked Brion to read a passage I had selected about marriage. Looking back at it now, and remembering the catch in his voice when he read it at the ceremony, I think it might be just as applicable to his role as stepfather to my sister and me growing up, and the deep love he felt for my mother which guided that choice. Like anything he did, this commitment would not have been taken without the utmost in careful consideration (especially as I was a moody preteen girl when he made it!) so I have taken the liberty of rephrasing it. Now, I can still see Brion’s expression from across the room in the singular way he had with a subtle, kind raise of an eyebrow, or his gentle beautiful smile silently transmitting his genuine passion for life and those he truly loved. I never knew him to do anything without his whole self. He was, and continues to be, one of the most intelligent people I have ever known – in his both innate and studied understanding of technology (“STEM” before there was such a name), but equally importantly, people and behavioral psychology (in which he should have had an honorary degree). I know his influence will not only stay with and inspire me, but that it will also quietly and powerfully imbue my sons’ life paths as well. I am so very grateful they had the opportunity to have him as their Gpa B.
Thank you, Brion, for everything you are and were. Thank you for being so uniquely you, and for everything you have allowed me to be. We will miss you, probably every single day, but you are always always with us. Love you, Bri. I wish we could have had more time, but the time we had was everything.
[Becoming a family] has certain qualities of a contract, in which [stepparents] take on the housekeeping tasks of living, together, to enhance life’s joy in every day. But [family] is more than a contract. [Family] is a commitment to take that joy deep, deeper than happiness, deep into the discovery of who you most truly are, together. It is a commitment to a spiritual journey, to a life of becoming. And thus [being the best stepparent] is even deeper than commitment. It is a covenant, a covenant that says: I love you, I trust you [and I am able to be trusted]. I will be here for you when you are hurting and… I will not leave. It is a covenant… not to provide haven from pain or from anger or from sorrow. Life offers no such haven. Instead, [family] is intended to provide a sanctuary safe enough to risk loving, to risk living, and sharing from the center of oneself. This is worth everything.