Day #179: Brandon.

So, back in 2008 I had a Motorola Razor. I'm talking before smart phones...this was probably one of the smartest phones you could get at that time. Anyways, my friend Brandon and I got the phones together. Anyways, the phone stopped working before I could ever get the pictures off of it. Bob finally got it to work and I found my pictures, a video and like 500 text messages. Why is this significant? Read on, friends, read on!

I don't think I have written much about Brandon. It's a touchy subject. See, Bob wasn't my first love. I don't want to say something like "I wish he was" because I don't. Without my first love, Brandon, I wouldn't be who I am and Bob and I might never have gotten together. I believe everything that happens shapes who you are. Do I believe everything is laid out in a cosmic plan leading you through life? No. But I do believe that the experiences from your past teach you and shape who you are in the future.

Anyways, I met Brandon in January of 2006. We met on Match.com. Oddly enough, I have the first e-mail he sent me still in my yahoo e-mail. 

Bob makes fun of me sometimes because I never delete things. Which is true. It's 2013 and I still have an e-mail from 2005. Does this make me a creeper? If you think so, then stop reading because I also have the conversation saved (from AIM) that we had after our first date. Yep. I'm strange, but I am glad I saved it.

Anyways, our friendship was rather tumultuous. We went from dating, to being friends, to dating, to being friends, to dating...you get the picture. I loved him more than I had ever loved anybody. He taught me a lot about myself and about life in general. I loved him so much it made me CRAZY. He brought out the best in me, but also the worst. We fought ALL THE TIME. That's why it was better for us to just be friends. And we were. He quickly became my best friend. He understood me. He knew when I needed him and he knew when to back off. But he also knew how to push my buttons.

Brandon was an EMT and firefighter, working towards becoming a paramedic. He was constantly pushing me to work in the ER. I was scared. My first two jobs as an RN were NOT good ones. When I first started working at Covenant, I started on a cardiac floor and it was the first job that felt like home to me. I didn't want to leave but I did want to work in the ER. He pushed me and made me feel like I was good enough to move on.

That was our text conversation after I told him I got a job in the ER, in early 2008. Yikes, I'm getting old!

Anyways, I would see Brandon randomly bring patients in. I loved working in the ER. In 2008, our friendship finally found a good place. We loved each other but we couldn't be together in a relationship. We would have killed each other. Pretty sure. Neither one of us knew when to back off the other one.

July 12, 2008 changed my life forever. I was working in the ER. I had only been there since March, but I was doing good. Holding my own. It was a crazy night full of psych patients and drunks. It was also the wedding night of a mutual friend of Brandon and I. Since I was so new in the ER, I didn't try to get the night off. I just sucked it up and went to work. Well, that night a bad accident victim came in. I remember hearing "Trauma Alert Level 1" being paged. I remember hearing the radio call and thinking "Yikes, this doesn't sound good". But I kept doing my work, dealing with the drunks in my rooms. I was good friends with a couple of the nurses who went into the room. My preceptor knew Brandon. She wasn't an overly emotional person, so when I saw her run by me and out the ambulance doors I knew something was up.

However, nothing could have ever prepared me for what was actually happening.

June 26, 2008...the last time we hung out before he died.
Moments before she went running out the doors, the patient from the trauma was brought in. My co-worker was standing on the gurney, doing chest compressions. I remember seeing her before I turned the corner. When I came back around the corner, the charge nurse was standing at the desk, staring in my direction. So were a couple more of my co-workers. Before I could say anything, my friends Jessica and Shannon each took one of my arms and led me to a consult room. Still, in my head, I am thinking "Geez, what did I do? Did I do something wrong?" Jessica sat next to me. Shannon knelt in front of me. She exhaled and looked at me and said, "Brandon's dead."

I remember screaming. That's it. I screamed. I know both of them were hugging me. I don't remember much after that. I remember going in to see him. I remember everyone looking at me and not knowing what to say. For a long time, no one knew what to say. What could you say? My best friend, my first love just died. In the ER, where I work. I had to identify his body because he came in as a "John Doe". 

How do you recover from that? Why did I go back to work in the same place that he died? Because I remember how excited he was to hear that I was working there. He would never forgive me if I quit. I don't believe in heaven or hell. I don't believe that he's watching me somewhere. I just remember what he was like when he was alive and if he was alive and I quit the ER, he would be PISSED. 
Brandon and Will, when Will was a kitty

Anyways, what sparked this story? I found a video of him on my old phone. It's crappy quality, but it's him...playing guitar hero. And yelling at the TV, "God damn it! This is bullshit!" And me laughing in the background. 

Brandon is my past. A past with happy memories, memories that make me laugh and cry. Bob is my current and my future. I mean, who can resist this?

Yep, Bob is sleeping. Just like that. Adorable right?
Love you babe! :)


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  1. God, I remember this. I can't believe it has been this long. Glad you wrote about him. Even though it's sad how he left, he definitely made a positive impact on the world by being a friend to you. <3

  2. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been.

  3. Oh.My.HEck.

    Girl that's crazy. Thank you for sharing. I do believe that our past good and bad and even ugly shape who we are and play a role in who we become.
    Thanks for linkin up! XOXOXOXO

    Kristine from The Foley Fam {unedited} Blog

  4. Wow. Chelsea, thanks for sharing this part of your story. My best friend is a guy I used to date, and I can never imagine something like this happening. This post makes me appreciate relationships, all relationships regardless of their type. I'm sure he would be grateful that he is very much still apart of your memories. xoxo

  5. glad you could share your story, death is so hard and confusing, and alot of times people are taken to young, and unfairly -

  6. Oh Chelsea, I can't believe you had to deal with this. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. What an amazing story for you to share. I do believe that things happen for a reason. I think it is cool that you save/treasure old e-mails etc...


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