Daniel James Bronold - Missing You

When the call came, time stood still. My husband’s only son was dead, my step son was gone from us and we stood in the kitchen in shock. Never to see him again or hear his voice seemed so painful, like a bad nightmare we would wake up from. But it is our reality we must live with, and so must all of those that have been touched by Dan in their lives. We must go on and so it is with those that you love that God finds they need to find their peace in heaven. Dan needed that, to be free of whatever was creating storm clouds in his heart. But it is with some frustration that I wrote this below and delivered it at his memorial service this past Sunday, March 25, 2012. Dan has been a mainstay in the news in Michigan with his death. He has become more of a news story than a human being. Let us not forget Dan was a son, a father, a significant other, a boyfriend, a step son, a step brother, a friend, and a Christian. And what else could he have been? I can only imagine…………………………………

Dear Dan,

I can only imagine what your life is like now. What you must see every day, how you must feel being free and at peace. I can see and feel that you smile in the heavens much like the sun gleams when it hits the white snow capped mountains or the ocean waves and reflects back the strong summer rays of sun.

Oh, knowing you are happy is wonderful to feel and sense but the pain we feel inside, that is real too. You seem so young in so many ways. It seems like yesterday you were among us, with that silly little smirk we all have come to know and love. We have all heard the stories of how you kicked butt at basketball ripping up the courts with your 3 on 3 in street high school games. You really rocked it man! For a big guy, you could really move it when you wanted to win! Guess those skills started with all those days watching basketball with your dad over Subway sandwiches all those years ago. Yeah, I am sure that had something to do with it.

I know you and your mom had a very special connection. No doubt it had its up and downs. Heck who doesn’t argue with their folks? But through it all there was that unmistakable love. You always knew she wanted the best for you and you wanted to make her proud. You wanted both your parents to be proud of you. And you tried, tried hard to pull it together. Sometimes things just don’t happen the way you would like. You dug down deep some times and other times, you took the easy way out. When you thought you dodged a bullet, another one came your way and you barely escaped. This time, this last time, you didn’t. Wow, none of us really thought this would be the end. The end of our time with you here on earth. We are in shock still somewhat Dan.

It is so easy to sit back now and say we wish you had listened to all the good advice and ignored all the bad advice thrown at you. I guess it is often times hard to know which is which when you are growing up. So much noise and so many voices. You were not happy inside and trying to always find your voice and never quite found it, but never gave up trying and for that Dan, you can be proud. You tried dude. We loved you man in spite of your faults and misgivings. We all wanted you to make it. We wanted you to find your piece of happiness and come to know peace. We just didn’t want it to be this way.

We know you have faith; we know you believe in the Lord. We know you are in His presence and we know He was with you in your final hours. Dan we think you knew at that last minute you breathed your last breath on this earth; the Lord God was with you Dan. He was there to lift you up out of that jail cell to internal freedom. He heard your pleas for help; he knew the struggle needed to end. You were not going to be condemned to damnation; you were forgiven and allowed to be at peace. Your torment is over. Your struggles serve as reminders to those that knew you that life can be hard. They serve as a witness to bad choices can put us in bondage and put chains around us so that we too can find ourselves wearing shackles, if not physically, metaphorically.

You were a precious child of God when you came into the world Dan, and you left this world in the same way, a precious child of God. You loved life but you died hating it. You loved God and you left this earth loving Him still. Amen! Please know that the day you left us, we were and still are loving you.

Dan, I will always remember your smile and smile when I remember you!

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