I knew this time would come. Change would come. I put it off because it wasn’t something I wanted to think about. I prayed for miracles. I saw miracles. And what I learned was the miracle was Evan, himself.
This past week we lost our Evan here in this world. I’m not at the point yet where I can say Heaven gained or any of those trivial things like, ‘he’s in a better place.’ I still feel like I lost.
I know all the truths. But I still feel like I lost.
If Evan and I have done anything here I hope you have found that someone who has special needs, disabilities, medical needs, abilities different from your own; they are truly the ones worth knowing. They will make your life richer, happier, harder, and closer to Christ than you would have been without them. Go get them in your life for you, not for them. Without them, you will be the one missing out on all the God-given truths we need to learn from them.
I don’t know where this blog thing is headed. I won’t be going anywhere. Yet, change is coming. I am still surrounded by special needs, learning differently, medical needs, and all of the challenges people face with these needs. It’s all I know. Anything I do will be first seen from that view. But, maybe I’ll branch out more now, become the fashion blogger I always dreamed about becoming. Even that will always be filtered by my special needs perspective and for the moms still living life how I know it.
I’m going to end with something my oldest son wrote about Evan. I could never say anything better than his tribute. He loved his Evan, learned from his Evan, and he let everyone know what a truly amazing man Evan was in our lives:
“If you knew Evan, you would know what he meant. You would have felt his smothering kindness. You would have heard the most contagious laugh. You would have been presented radical hospitality. You would have been hugged. You would have been asked “What are you going to do at home?” You would have been welcomed into his life as the closest of friends. Evan knew nothing but close friends. Whether it was in his high school class, or a crowded elevator, Evan knew no stranger and sought to make everyone he did not know, known.
My family, for 21, years has celebrated. We called Evan “Hollywood” because he was the center of attention wherever he went. Yesterday we celebrated with Evan at the center of attention. You don’t realize how many small things impact your life tremendously until you are all telling them in succession. Even as I am writing this, my mind is playing a highlight (and lowlight) reel of Evan’s life. Oh, brother, how you have loved me. Yesterday was a clear indicator that my job, for the rest of my life, is to carry Evan’s legacy and make everyday a celebration. There will never be a day where I let the sun go down without loving someone like Evan loved, laughing like he laughed, or party like Evan partied. Evan was a testament to the fact that even Apples to Apples cards can speak the gospel if played the right way, and from today forward I promise to play like Evan.
For those that know me, you know that I am where I am in life because of Evan. Everything that matters to me is because of what he taught me. His wisdom knew no limits, and I tried to soak up every ounce I could. The Word of God is often read through the lens of Evan, and he helped me grapple with the truths of our world. Evan brought me perspective on the things that mattered and the things that didn’t. I truly consider Evan to be among the greatest men to have walked this earth, and I consider him definitively to be the greatest man I have ever known. All I can do is thank Evan for the time he gave me because every major source of joy in my life can be directly traced back to my brother. I carry his signature with me everyday on my arm like a badge. God knew what He was doing when he gave me a second brother in Christian, and I cannot wait to honor Evan through that relationship. If you knew Evan, I am so glad. You knew a wonderful man. If you did not, please ask me about him. Allow me to recreate, to the best of my ability, the best ‘Brobee’ I could have ever asked for. If you seek to honor Evan like I do, just do this; know no stranger. Love every person you meet. Ask about their day, and make them feel wanted. Evan made me feel wanted and I want him so badly. However, Evan has always been the bravest of our bunch, and bravely he moved on. Goodbye Evan, I love you more than you could have ever known.
I do not believe that there is any mistake that our Evan displayed the same traits as our God. Every trait Evan possessed was a direct reflection of Christ. Evan sought to make every person known, and that is exactly what our Heavenly Father seeks to do. We are all known through Christ and I was reminded of that daily by Evan’s desire to be with me and everyone he cared for. It is not easy for my mind to understand what Evan went through, but I try to remember that Evan went home to be with our Father. All suffering is gone, and I know that he has completed his mission and is walking in completion. Well done, Evan. I don’t know if it will ever get easier to ask this, but Evan, “What are you going to do at home?”
-2 Corinthians 5:16-21″