The other day, I was thinking why tragic events happen in our lives. I remember the intense pain of the night our son Brian died and the sheer disbelief that he was gone from our lives forever. In a fleeting moment he died while Cindy and I were asleep never to have a chance to say good bye to him. The pain of Brian’s death has lessened slightly but certainly not gone. There isn’t a moment of any day that I still don’t think about him in some fashion whether it is a vivid memory or just an intense feeling of loss or longing for him. Only after Brian’s death 3 month ago do we now realize just how perfect our lives really used to be. As the saying goes, you don’t realize what you have until it is gone. It is such a true statement. We certainly love our 3 other children: Kevin, Julie, and Christie with all our hearts, but life will never be the same without our son Brian in it. Brian wrote a quote once to a family who had lost their son in a tragic car accident approximately one year ago. He wrote: “Tragedy hits at the most random times but mainly to just remind us of all the wonderful things we have in this life. Sometimes it happens to good people, but God chooses them for a reason.”
Maybe from Brian’s tragedy has come a purpose. Many positive things have now occurred as a result of Brian’s death. Here is an update:
Firstly, the Brian N. Hoeflinger Memorial Fund through the Toledo Community Foundation has collected over $70,000 dollars in donations in just 3 months. The proceeds from this foundation will ultimately be used to promote a charitable cause that will embody the essence of Brian’s drive for success and personal achievement with benefit to an individual or group of individuals who could not realize these goals without financial aide. Donations are made here through Brian’s website brianmatters.com.
Secondly, we have 2 exciting golf tournaments set for Saturday June 1st. The Ottawa Park tournament starts at 8:30 am and the Sylvania Country Club tournament at 1:30 pm, both which are shotgun starts. There will be a common reception at Sylvania Country Club that evening for all participants of both tournaments. This promises to be a great fun-filled charity event and all proceeds will go directly into Brian’s memorial fund. There are still a few openings for both outings so sign up today. Sign up can be done through Brian’s website at target=”_blank”>brianmatters.com or email me at [email protected].
Thirdly, Cindy and I have started to give talks regarding teens and alcohol. Thus far, the talks we have given have gone well and the feedback has been very positive. The ultimate goal is to educate teens and their parents to the dangers of alcohol at their age and to hopefully sway them from drinking. Upcoming talks will be posted on this website as dates are confirmed. We hope people will attend as I think you will learn a lot of eye-opening facts about teenage drinking and hopefully give you a new perspective on drinking. If you would be interested in having a presentation in your community, please email me at [email protected] or my wife at [email protected].
Lastly, one of the state liquor stores in our area which is selling alcohol to our children is under investigation as a result of Brian’s death and hopefully will lose their liquor license as a result. I think we need to stop these stores from providing alcohol to our children and make them accountable for their actions. And right now this is happening as a result of Brian’s death.
As you can see, a tremendous amount of good is resulting from a tragedy. Even so, as parents and a family, Brian is gone from our lives forever. And there is no ultimate amount of good that can be done to replace the loss we have felt over Brian. I know everyone understands that but I need to say it for Brian’s sake. There is no way to ever express in words how much we miss him and just how drastically our lives have changed forever without him.
And yet most importantly beyond the tangible items noted above, there is the intangible appreciation for our remaining family and children. Brian’s death has forced us to re-evaluate what is most important in our lives and certainly that is our family. As a father, I am trying to spend more quality time with them and trying harder to talk one on one with each of my kids which is not always the easiest thing to do with teenagers. Trying to get to know each of them better and ensuring that they know how much I love each of them. In the end , I have gained a better insight into and appreciation for what is truly important in our lives. I think we need to frequently remind ourselves of that because all too often we take things for granted. And we know how quickly life can change in an instant. You can wake up one morning and a loved one is gone forever leaving you no chance to say goodbye or redo things a second time. So you have to make the first go round count everyday and be content with your actions or lack of actions thereafter. Thanks for taking the time to read this message.
Brian F. Hoeflinger