Saturday, September 29, 2007

In Memory: Austin Brooke

I spent Saturday afternoon at the funeral of a young man that was killed when he was struck by a car. Austin and his mom had gone to our church several years ago. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in southern California and was serving in the Marine Corp. His unit was scheduled for deployment overseas. Austin, at just shy of twenty years old, leaves behind a wife and eight month old son.

The death of one so young is a stark reminder of just how fleeting life can be. Several young Marines made the journey to accompany Austin's body back to his home and a Missouri base sent a few more. A motorcycle group that calls themselves "The Patriots" were also in attendance. The Patriots were there as escorts and guards in case of protesters that have been making funerals of service men and women a stage for their anti-war demonstrations.

Although it has been several years since Austin has attended our church, Pastor Terry was asked to officiate the service. Terry brought a message of comfort and of hope from the words of the Bible. Chris and I went although it has been a while since we have seen Laurie (Austin's mom). It is difficult to know what to say or how to offer comfort at such a time. Laurie raised Austin as a single mom. It was always the two of them facing life together. I can't begin to imagine her loss. Laurie has remarried, has step children, a daughter in law and a grandson. Her life is far from empty...and yet the void that exists today, will be impossible to fill.

I would ask that you take a moment to remember Austin's mom, Laurie, his wife, Leota and his eight month old son Shawn in your prayers. Treasure and remember to pray for those close to you and be prepared for this life to come to an end. The Bible says that life is like a mist; yours, mine, all those that we love.


"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
James, brother of Jesus


Amanda said...

This is so sad to read.
I didn't know that the Bible refered to life as a mist but I'm glad you had that sentence there. I like it.

Bilbo said...

This is truly sad. What is almost sadder, though, is that the members of a motorcycle group had to turn out in case protesters tried to use such a sad event as a stage for their demonstration. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, but using it to intrude upon private grief is despicable. I agree with Amanda - I'd never heard that quote from James, but it's grand.