I'm sure you've heard it a million times, you can't pick your family but you can pick your friends. So this is my friend Travis Eugene Behr...or just Behr.
I can tell you that when I first met Behr I had to wonder what God thought he was doing by putting this guy into my life! His wife, easy, she's a wonderful, generous, and sweet woman My first impression of Behr was that he was the biggest asshole I had ever met and over the years my impression didn't change much, he remained an asshole, but somehow or another my heart found a soft spot for him. You see, he was married to one of my dearest friends ever and if she could put up with him then who was I to think I couldn't! the photo above is how Behr has always looked, big and scruffy, and dependent on his look...pretty scary! LoL!!
When I first met Janet and Behr they were carnies, the worked on a carnival that traveled the country. Behr was big and loud and liked to argue with anyone about anything and everything.
These photos are of a much happier time, Behr and Janet riding their bike and enjoying good times.
Yeppers, he always had a cigarette stuck in his mouth or in his hand.
Here's a photo of Behr and Travis, you can certainly tell where Travis got his size from!
This photo seems like forever ago but it was only taken in September 2012, shortly after the accident that changed his life, his son's life and his wife's life. Because he had to be intubated after his accident his beard and mustache got shaved, it's the first time I ever saw him without it.
Behr's neck was broken in the accident and in this photo he had not had surgery yet to repair it. Unfortunately he had a heart attack shortly after the accident, or maybe during the accident, and that had to be taken care of first. So home he went to wait. It's during this time that Janet discovered more of the devastation from the accident, his short term memory was gone as was his ability to walk without support of another person or a cane. This took a toll, not only on Behr, but Janet and Travis as well. Their whole world spiraled out of control.
January of this year brought about the devastating death of sweet Travis, Behr and Janet's only son. Behr felt responsible for his death and blamed himself, regardless of everyone telling him it was not his responsibility.
Here's Behr and his brother Wayne at Travis' funeral in January. His pain and anguish are palpable in this photo!
This is the last picture I have of Behr.
He died last Friday, the 12th of April, nearly 3 short months after his sweet son died.
It's such a random thing...fate!
While eating lunch with his mother in law and friend he choked on a piece of chicken. He was without oxygen for about 10 minutes. They sent him to Lubbock and once he arrived the first doctor to evaluate him said he thought his brain had been without oxygen for too long and brain death was probable.
That was Tuesday the 9th.
Wednesday arrived and there was a visit from the neuro doctor who ordered tests to see if in fact there was any brain activity, there wasn't. Janet made those calls that no person should have to make only 3 short months after making them all the first time.
His brother arrived and we all sat down with the palliative medicine doctor on Thursday afternoon and the decision was made to extubate him and let death occur naturally.
We waited and held vigil; crying, laughing, ranting, telling stories, remembering...all through the night.
At 0655 on Friday morning Behr took his last breath.
As I write this the tears are flowing and my heart is broken but somewhere inside I know he's in a better place, where he wanted to be, with his sweet, sweet son! In the few short days since Behr died I have cried and cried and cried some more. I know that God has a plan for all of our lives and that this is another piece of that plan, I just wish I could see the bigger picture so I could be a little more prepared and the pain would not be as great.
So today I am locking the memories of Travis and Behr safely in my heart because my friend Janet needs me. She needs people who can hold her up when she's falling, walk beside her when she's upright or pull her up when she can't get herself up.
Don't wait a moment to tell the people in your life how important they are to you and how much you love them!