Thursday, August 16, 2012

Loss of a Friend

It's so easy at times to get caught up in the 'doing' of life, rather than the 'living'. Things come along to remind you what really matters and unfortunately these things are often sad. We just learned this morning of the passing of a good friend - Brian Layton.

Before Kent and I married, I attended a ward/congregation for singles in Mesa. It was here that Kent and I met through something we call FHE or Family Home Evening. The ward is divided into small groups of 'families' with a 'Mom and Dad' who oversee activites. These families are organized under a 'Grandma and Grandpa' who arrange the large group activities. It was weekly thing and a ton of fun. I was 'Mom' over Kent's group and eventually I worked with Brian as a 'Grandma'. We worked together for about a year organizing crazy events such as karaoke, BBQs, Olympics and even an elaborate scavenger/rescue hunt for each family's Mom. Brian was a great guy to work with and a perfect 'It'll be okay' attitude for my anal type A personality. There's such a wealth of memories that go with that time together and wonderful friendships too.

Kent and I still have hanging on our wall pictures of a trip we took to San Diego with a group of these friends. Paula Prince was one of the girls on the trip who was recently asked to be one of the group Moms. She began asking me questions about Brian. I was thrilled to pieces because she was clearly interested and we just had help Brian see it. It didn't take long before they were engaged and they married the day after us. It was fun to joke and tease together as we were all making our marriage plans and dealing with marriage woes all at the same time.

We moved off to Glendale but saw them on and off at Christmas for the temple lights. A reunion of sorts was arranged back in 2009 where Brian attended (Paula was having a babyshower for their first child that same evening) We joked around, it was clear we were all a little older, rounder and somewhat wiser because of time and life. That reunion didn't seem all that long ago so we were in shock to hear that Brian had passed suddenly due to heart failure. Not the thing you expect from a healthy active 37 year old man. In the time we worked together I got to know his mom and his brother Mark. I feel deeply for them but in particular, I feel such sorrow for Paula and her 2 sons.

A picture from our reunion 3 years ago, Brian is at the back with a baseball cap on.

May the Lord's peace fill your loved ones while you are away, until we meet again in the eternities you will be missed.

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