written by: Brian Wayne Smith
Today I would like to give a shout out to family and friends that have become family in my heart. These were the people that have been in my life for over 10 years. Please don't ask me "Why didn’t I make it?" if I didn’t describe you. You are all important to me. It’s just today I'm singling out just a few.
To my best friend, from High School, that’s like a brother. We may not visit or keep in contact like we should. Though, whenever we do it's like a continued conversation; except we're older and wiser. I love you brother.
Stary, you already know. From the first time meeting in Forest Hills, my 8th grade summer, until today. From acting like my lawyer in traffic court to actually pursuing to become a lawyer; you’ve always had my back. Sometime, I feel like I haven't returned the favor enough. I must apologize for being a crappy friend to you. Just know I love you and the family.
To my favorite cousin, you knew me before I knew who you were. We literally go back like babies and pacifiers. Well, at least I do, because you’re four years old than me. You’re a sister to me. Always was the wise one that would warn me not to do something stupid; like throwing rocks at bees. For years I looked up to you while growing up. Now I finally feel like I'm no longer looking up but on the same level with you. I love you big sis. Kiss my nephew for me.
Reese, you have always been in my life also. Cousin, next door neighbor, school and body guard. The crazy stuff you, Dan and I would get into. Half the time I wondered, how did we make it home? It was only God's grace. We have somehow stayed in contact throughout the years. You're a brother also to me. When that tragic day happened in your life your mother told me "You're my son. Look out for him." God I hope I made her proud. I love you too big bro.
To my Iowa mother, your family has taken our family under your wings. Never could I repay you for the love you have shown during some of the toughest periods of my life. To witness how well both of your children have turned out gives me hope for our three. You and your husband have set the bar quite high. That's great. I love you "mom" and the whole family.
Manda Panda, from the time you put a plastic knife to my neck. I knew we would be friends because I didn't completely spaz out. Who would have ever guessed you would have been a bridesmaid in Linds and my wedding. Not just because you knew me; but because you were friends with my wife first. You deserve to be recognized for being the beautiful soul you are. All the fundraisers you do. You truly put your problems to the side to help others. Thank you for having such a huge heart. I love you a bunch.
From stand-up comedy to trick or treating in the strip club, Mr. King, you have been my level headed black Mr. Spock to make sure I didn’t get too crazy. We have helped each other get through many difficult periods in life since I've been in Iowa. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you man.
To “Paducah”, from the most messed up way we became friends to being my Best Man in my wedding. You have helped me so much throughout life. We have been friends since college. I'm proud to still call you my brother from another mother. I love you dude.
You each deserved a proper shout out. I woke up this morning with each of you on my mind. So I'm saying a prayer over each of your lives regardless of our different beliefs. You're my family and I love you. To me this is just one way of giving something back.
I'm a husband, father, business owner of BRAYNE, LLC, a clothing company that promotes positivity by way of fashion, a writer, a student and an electronic engineering test technician. Life is busy but I'm striving to live my dreams with my great family that I love deeply. There are times when I feel like a failure. Then I look at how many times I've fallen just to dust myself off and continue running the race. Now I can look around at my life and see that my "failures" were just locked doors that God wasn't ready to open yet.