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Emotional Perception Can Never Be Assumed

A football field is not just a field. It's a true melting pot. Main ingredient being LOVE.

I was asked to write about my experience at the Stars of Hope Sky Lantern Festival. I felt honored, someone wanted to read what I had to say. Of course I thought about it all week, I will get to it. 

Scrolling through Facebook I came across a photo my brother Adam had commented on about our youngest brother Noah, who passed away 2 years ago. It was a photo of Noah wearing a shirt Adam claimed he stole. Noah denied it. Now 2 years after his passing he got caught!!! Adam will now claim that victory!!! So I continued through the album of our brother Noah and it occurs to me, it is now time to share, just how moving coming together with related strangers reminded me.... I'm on the right path meant for me.

5:45, OK, I will be honest 5:55. Jen sat waiting for me as I run frantic getting all ready to go to the Stars of Hope Sky Lantern Festival. My boys, my girls and I piled into Jen's car to help with the event. The kids have been oozing excitement since we all woke up. All the kids have a job to do, little kids are safety buddies, never to leave each other's side and I am asked to greet everyone, also to sell last minute lanterns. SO fun. 

The POI dancers give a great show. Then its time. Time to light! 

I explain to the kids we will all launch the lantern together, all hands on deck. My oldest daughter MiKayla said her 2 girlfriends don't have a lantern and if they could be with us. We welcomed 2 more launchers. Jared lights, we flip it and let it go.

But what really happened was I told her friends they may join. One condition, you go in on our pact: "Always be there for all those you love, and those you don't know yet. Love with all you have. Help others, always." We have two more members of our group. Jared lights the lantern, being the man of the house he will soon become. Together we flip the lantern, guiding it as it fills with hot air. We release. We all watch together.

Jared says: "Hey I'm gonna go help people light theirs if they need help." My heart melts. MiKayla goes to help with her friends. Helaina and Logan stand in front of me, each take a hand to hug. We all look up, I see Baby Ryan (Jen's son) in front of us. I grab him. The 5 of us are silent listening to the most fitting song, Paradise by Coldplay. I think of Noah. He is why I am here. In a football field surrounded by related strangers. His point of view has got to be as breathtaking as ours. 

We let go, hug others. People start to disperse and then I am given the gift of Thanks from the one person I need, crave, and yearn for. Who I am forever different because of them....

We'll do it all
Everything
On our own

We don't need
Anything
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

The song goes on, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol plays over the loud speaker. I feel overwhelmed.

This song is one of two I had put on for my brother Noah's memorial service. My brother shows me how he's grateful. As I was to him.

As I was setting up to start this, I played Chasing Cars. Each and every time I envision Noah and I in a field looking at the sky. I feel my brother and see his transparent body next to mine. I hear this....

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

I look up at the two photos of Noah, the ones displayed at his service, now hang on my wall. I speak to him, I then feel the warmth of his presence behind me. I feel as if I may bump him if I move in just the slightest way. The song continues...

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

As the song ended last Saturday, Katie grabbed me, embraced the unknown and was there. Just like the related strangers, we all just shared a field with. A field filled with different stories, vast backgrounds, and people of all ages. Hundreds of different stories, with a million variations, all stemming from the same sole purpose of our gathering. LOVE. It's funny how your perspective of how you assume your emotional response will be, is so far off. I thought this night would be amazing to see. Tons of Sky Lanterns burning bright. When in fact I got to share with my kids and people I love,that they will never be alone. 

My hope for them is as they grow, they look back at this event and have the best memories. Ones of helping set up,and passing out glow necklaces to the kids who came. Lighting the lantern as one small part of this huge family. Our family at Suicide Prevention Services of America. That they will be that one person to go to when someone needs help. Making sure no one is ever alone.

This is my reaction attending the Stars of Hope Sky Lantern Festival. See you there, next year!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Stephanie Weber October 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I was reading this with my morning cup of coffee. The tears started rolling down my cheeks. I flipped on my IPod..." If I lay here, if I just lay here..." beautifully written, Brooke. You captured the feelings of so many. You have an incredible spirit and a wonderfully loving family. Your brother is proud of you...and so am I!
Brooke Elizabeth October 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM
You are not alone in the tear shedding this morning. To hear the words I'm proud of you too is just too overwhelming. I just want to make a difference in this world that most feel will always be bad. Noah changed me. Jen gave me my sight back. You gave her life, and if not because of your mother, we wouldn't be able to save the world the way she felt we should. Treating people like they really matter. Thank you Stephanie for being who you are, and allowing me in your world. I love it here!
Cara M October 13, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Beautifully written as always... I absolutely love the person you are blooming to be. The Brooke I met was a sweet, caring person...this Brooke is amazing. :) keep it up love, you will forever change do many lives. Hugs, love Cara
Brooke Elizabeth October 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM
There really needs to be a disclaimer on here... Look out for the tears, they some without notice, for a duration unknown. LOL. My dream is to change lives. And with the help of you all, it is coming true!
Patti Craig October 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Brooke... You should be proud of yourself. And yes a disclaimer would be nice since the tears do not bode well with my computer and the keyboard.

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