A Life Well Lived, and Over Too Soon
Today we celebrated the life of my friend, Brent Weatherly.
My son and I met Brent back in 2013. He had just been diagnosed with colon cancer in April of that year. As we introduced ourselves, we told Brent we would pray for him.
What he and his wife Kim hoped would be a blip in their lives turned out to be a nearly 7 year battle that ended Tuesday night.
Over 200 people gathered to remember Brent. We cried. We laughed. We hugged.
And afterward, we enjoyed the kind of hospitality Brent was known for.
He loved to have fun.
Like my grandfather, Brent had a great sense of humor.
His friend Billy found a shiny new baseball bat in his yard. Thinking about how much he would enjoy the bat, Brent arrived, grabbed the bat and said, “That’s mine.”
Brent gave many of his friends nicknames. He called his friend Carlton “Angel.” Later Carlton would become Brent’s medical advisor.
One day Carlton was texting Kim about Brent’s treatment.
“Who are you texting, Kim?”
“What? Get your own Angel.”
When Brent was a freshman in his dorm, he painted his hall pink. He got caught, of course, and had to paint it again.
Another time he tied a bottle rocket to a model airplane propeller just to see what would happen.
Even when his life entered the dark tide of endless cancer treatments, he still found time to laugh.
If he could laugh then, what can’t we laugh about?
He had an insatiable sense of adventure.
Brent spent a lot of time fishing.
He went to lots of Georgia football games.
His sense of adventure also showed up in hobbies.
If you visited his home, you’d first enter a kitchen full of gadgets to make home-brewed coffee and grind fruit (and other foods) into juice.
If you went into his daughter’s room or walked in the yard, you’d see a variety of plants that they learned how to grow and keep alive.
Out back was an outdoor pizza oven. My son and many of his peers confirm that was some of the best pizza they ever ate.
When he first started his chemotherapy, he took up bicycling to stay in shape.
One weekend when he needed a retreat to pause and spend time with God, he visited a monastery.
And one dream he had that is dear to my heart is he always wanted to be an author. He accomplished that dream when he published the book Two Stories. If you want to know more about Brent’s journey through cancer and faith, I recommend you grab a copy.
The Show Must Go On
Brent’s son Owen said that this was one of the most important lessons his dad taught him.
When he was in pain, he didn’t quit living. He went to work. He still parented. He planned trips. In fact, this summer he and his family took several trips so they’d have the memories.
He loved his wife well through it all.
He had cancer when he and I went through officer training together.
Brent’s chief concern throughout his life was to be a light for Christ and to make Him known. And even as good as he was, he would still say that many times he just didn’t measure up.
His hope was in Jesus.
And when he passed from this life to the next, I have no doubt he heard these words:
Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.
My greatest hope is that I can be even half the dad, friend, and husband he was.
No matter how things turn out for me, I’m richer because God put Brent into my life.
Now go let your light shine.