My Piece About A Brother
“..being present in the moment and in the now is something we must always strive for...for the now is all we really got. My idea of after-life is lying 5 feet under with a bodacious smile from ear to ear.” - Dylan Q. Meier
What is the good in livin the life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place? The gestalt of our human existence wants to answer this question but only the purest and truest, willfully, answer and live it. As I think about what a brother is, my internal flame starts to flicker like a fire would with a spritz from an aerosol can. My body warms, blood starts to pump, and arrogance in an internal space overwhelms me. My conception of a brother may be construed but my brother was unique to know other. However, in our creation, each fiber and ligament that holds our name was purposed, solely to each of us. My unique understanding of a brother is different from any others but that's how it was created to be and I love that. Unique to his own, I had the best seat to watch a master live a life.
As the youngest of four boys, my personality was crafted through a watch and learn scope. Although, not necessarily fully conscious of that through my younger development but that was how I grew up. I didn't have just one trial before me but three that would unfold before it was my turn. I would sit, listen, analyze, and then attempt to conquer or create in whatever manner I was after. It was through this process that I often found physical and emotional success. Success never was and is the end result to every experience in following along a pair of footsteps. My brother, Dylan, who I’m closest to in age was the one I followed a little more closely. He often took turns and detours towards dead ends for particular reasons. One, his path was created for him. Not symbiotic for me or anyone else and he wanted me to understand that lesson firsthand. Two, he was a wild man. He took the road less traveled because his blood flowed that way. And three, my brother’s path was established as he went. As the master of his destiny he whole-heartedly explored the depths of whom he was, where he was. It was through his humble curiosity about life and it's make-up where he learned to love life so much. Loving the life you have is so simple in creation but it is often easily lost in living it, full-time with that understanding and intent. That precious breath and gift of life was something he never misunderstood or took for granted. He radiated of life and lived without one regret or a fear. The experience of his present life always trumped the search for the meaning of it. That’s my brother.
Athletics were a large part of him but he understood athletics weren't who he was. My brother played his own tune. His own tune took him to places and those places weren't always to everyone's liking. After a physically grueling junior year at Kansas State, he had his right shoulder completely re-created. In a physically frustrated state, after meetings during training camp his senior year he decided to hit the road to Winfield, Kansas to watch some bluegrass at the Walnut Valley Festival. A great idea until the coaches phoned my mom asking if she knew where her son was. My dad learned of his where bouts first because Dylan was the first person he saw that morning coming out of his tent! Often in sports, those types of players are team breakers. They create fluidity instead of adding viscosity. However, his tune was special. It was a damn good one that was always within the parameters of the team and it was contagious. His approach to athletics was quite similar to how he approached life because he viewed them through the same eye. Within the two, he constantly found himself facing obstacles. Those obstacles were things he enjoyed embracing because it tested his will in times of inconvenience. How he responded was how he discovered who he was. The game of football is calculated on a variety of different planes. Numerically, emotionally, spiritually, and the physical toll that accumulates may be the most substantial of all. Football is a violent sport of constant collisions. It's especially violent for a quarterback. There are eleven, hungry and willing individuals that are trained all week to seek and eliminate. Dylan's medical file was dictionary thick but you'd never get the slightest speculation of that. Just like his quest for life's challenges, he found the thrill in answering and overcoming that road to recovery after injury. After his junior year in high school, he had the first of a few shoulder surgeries on his throwing shoulder. That summer was where he taught me what hard work was.
As a fourteen-year-old freshman, I watched a seventeen year old relentlessly push and work his self back to not just himself again, but a bigger and better self. Everyday that summer before evening quarterback/wide receiver work and seven on seven drills, we would go to our high school two hours before drills would begin. For the first hour, it was just he and I, meticulously going through a shoulder warm-up. I would apply an ointment and lightly massage his shoulder. Follow it with shoulder stretches and then therapeutic band exercises. It was just pure, brotherly love and fun. In the second hour our high school trainer, Robin Gardenhire, would come and guide him through the rest of his rehabilitation work. I watched, listened, and worked alongside him because his eyes and attitude told me to. Hell, I was fourteen. I didn't know my elbow from my ankle. I followed his lead because I knew it was towards a purpose that I'd understand on a later day. About 99% of the time, this was unseen work by our teammates. However, I witnessed it everyday and saw the amount of sweat and tears shed. It was through those times where he ingrained me with a repertoire of weapons that I use. More curious about my well-being than his, he lead and monitored me wherever we went in life. He never once sheltered or shadowed my personal light but was only hoping to illuminate it with the greatest intent and love. That’s my brother.
The remembrance of someone or something often follows an extravagant act of life or death. It's through these remembrances that we can find peace and comfort through grief. It’s difficult comprehending that it’s nearly five years since the passing of my brother. This weekend, April 18th, 2015 the Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation will hold its 5th annual 5k run & 1-mile Friendship walk. That too is a hard one to digest but as hard as it is, it’s the reality of my existence. Our creator blesses, protects, and comforts those who mourn and how we mourn comes in a variety of ways. Grief is but a stage that we all pass through. It's not forever and it modifies as time continues on. There's this special trail that is opened during grief that pulls us forward to live and love as greatly as possible. Someone so strong and real never quite goes away. My brother is just like the truth. He always finds a way to the surface and makes his presence known. Of all the things he was and did, the way he made you feel was superior. It’s often in our lives that we may forget what’s someone’s said or what someone’s did but no one will ever forget how someone makes you feel. The effect he had on others was the greatest currency he held.
The beauty of our brotherhood is whether it’s two seconds or two centuries apart, there’s this rooted connection that is eternal and never broken. We’ll pick up where we left off and keep on trucking forward, seeking the next thrill. However, until I’m called home I’ve got a lot of living left to do. The timeline we live on is calculated and the breath I have in-between is to be lived with the grandeur of life. My brother is not gone but just a little further away from me, physically, for a while. I do look forward to the day where we reunite in paradise and bask in the sunlight together. We’ll reminisce on a plethora of adventures and everything will be perfect. I’ve fallen in love with goals and ambitions in life and how we get there comes from fuel. My body runs on this pure, efficient yet overly toxic and contagious fuel. It’s called my brother. In my quest to fulfill my life’s ambitions I have one that I want to hear when I see him again. “Brother, I’m proud of you.”