Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kansas City

I have lived here my entire life. It isn't much. It isn't little. It is perfect. It is right in the middle. 2 million people who share the same hopes, dreams and sports teams. We love the Chiefs. We love the Royals. We hate Kansas. We hate Missouri. We applaud K-State. It's a great town. Each summer or fall or winter or spring, some of us move away. Some of us stay away. But most of us come back. Kansas City is always a special place. Like that lakehouse you used to visit with your family in your youth. Quiet, simple, vast, drenched in history and memories, but comes with just about everything you need.

It is a great city to live in. People come back when they move away, even if it is just for a weekend of Chiefs tailgating or Jayhawk basketball. They always come back. I have plenty of friends who had the typical "big fish in a little pond" syndrome that usually accompanies the fast evolving brain of those who suffer from quarter life crises. The need to get out and explore the world seems like an enticing proposition. But they all come back.

Three weeks ago, one of them came back. My friend Brian Euston came back to a city full of opportunity. A city full of hope with endless dreams and plenty of good-natured people willing to give a stranger a chance.

So Brian came back to Kansas City. Returning from a long trip to Europe. He was greeted by the people and friends who knew him the best. Friends that had lasted him a lifetime. All the way from Catholic grade school all the way through Catholic high school. Those relationships were built to last a lifetime. Us Brookside kids are a different breed. We like each other. We love each other. We respect each other. We are good people. We celebrate...hard. We have a zest for life that some may misconstrue as reckless or irresponsible, but trust me, we only mean well.

So here we are. Our friend is gone. In a city that so many people come back to, Brian has been shut out. Only the memory remains. And for what? We don't truly know. What I know, is that Brian and our city deserve better. Brian may have been taken away, but his lesson remains.

We grew up in great neighborhoods, with great families, great friends. All the perfect recipe for a fantastic community. Our entire lives, we were taught to do things for the "greater glory of God". We owe it to Brian Euston to carry on the very lessons we have been taught since our youth.

I could stand on my soap box and call for answers and point my fingers, but that isn't my job. My job as a friend of Brian Euston's is to carry on his legacy. To ensure that these things don't happen to the people of our community anymore. The reach of our community is not just limited to that tiny awesome piece of God's creation from the Plaza to Waldo, but everywhere in this world and more importantly, Kansas City. This story cannot be written with vengeance, malevolence or anger. It must end with compassion, sympathy and grace.

Understand that we are in dark times. But the night truly is darkest before the dawn. I'm sure Brian was a big fan of the Dark Knight, so, don't worry, I gotcha buddy. There are good people left in this world. Don't let yourself get lost in the shuffle. Alone we are one, together we are many. Because we always come back. No matter what, we come back.

For Brian Euston. Rock State, big guy. Oh yeah, the Chiefs are 5-2. Yeah, I know...THE CHIEFS

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