Brian Patrick Johnson
(My Friend and Brother)
A memory and a thought that endures with a reality which is so
persistent within my soul or an inexplicable truth I am unable to answer.
What Can Be Said About a Lost Soul or that One Unique Individual Whose Smile Shines Upon Us and Gives Us the Spirit to Inhale and Exhale the Joy of Life?
The Sun rises and yet it is difficult to know that it is day.
There is an absence that we find difficult to understand or
much less able to explain a circumstance that is so hurtful
and bears pain to those who love him as he made joy a
reality for us.
Brian could always be arrogant and proud that at times
could easily drive the most open mind to distraction.
Yet he knew the joy one can derive from compassion when
he felt the daily scars of a chronic disease. Brian could still
look upon you with a smile that engendered hope.
The pain of disease turned into a burning arrow that would
torment his soul and inner being as it grew in its own intensity
and suffering that was unremitting and indiscriminate in the
thread it sowed for a hapless soul like my sweet brother.
He was a man who followed a path that was his alone and
found no need to look back at those who are always blinded
by what is different. Brian had a sight or possibly we should
call it an insight into the human soul. It gave him a depth not
of knowledge but one of UNDERSTANDING.
I have known many people who have sought what Brian possessed.
Yet it was a vain and empty attempt to find a path that is as
intangible as the morning mist. He was not a religious man though
he had led a religious life. He was a SPIRITUAL MAN who could grasp
love and affection and never let it go.
The Breath of Life has left his suffering body torn by disease and a
Dysfunctional World where there seemed to be no place or peace
for a brother with the sweetest smile. You are in my heart and
your memory speaks to me each day as we walk across the
meadow in joy of laughter and the dreams that overtake my mind.
© Senex Magister
I have put together, with Bobbie's help of course, a few pictures of Brian. Some of them grainy but I wanted to remember some happier times.
This is Brian from a much earlier time that only a few of us remember. Yet, if you are a 'Baby Boomer', I am sure you have similar pictures of what we all believed at the time was an 'Age of Innocence' even though many of us were floating on 'Trouble Waters'. I don't mean to be trite but I do believe that we all possess our own center of gravity and follow our personal drummer. If this is not true of everyone, I do believe it is/was true of my brother.
Even though he didn't have both of his front teeth, you can definitely see Brian's famous smile.
The following are old 'school pictures' in which he seems a little stern with no smile. The only other possible answer is an obstinate character that some years later would try to hire a lawyer to fight a $2.00 Traffic ticket in small claims court.
This may be a possible exception to my no smile statement.
Family Vacation-1965, Wahington D.C.
Bruce, Brian, and Dad before a Mercury Space Capsule at the Smithsonian before there was an Air and Space Museum.
I think this is a Pre-Nuptial trip we made to Logansport, but I am not positive.
It is not the best picture but it is also quite old.
Brian, Bruce, and Bobbie - Pre Wedding Festivities in 1979
Brian and Annie - Before Bruce and Bobbie's Wedding
Mother's Dinning Room in Logansport on our way to Grandma's 80th Birthday Celebration.
At Grandma's Birthday Picnic in Minneapolis, MN.
This was a family gathering at Lake Wawasee, Indiana - Early 1980's
Bobbie, Bruce, and Brian
(College Break for Brian - I guess we were all young.)
Brian in our apartment in Sugarland Run, VA - Early 1980's
Gary, Bruce, and Brian - When? I am really not sure.
Jefferson City, MO Johnson's Visit D.C. and their Uncle Brian
(Outside of Bruce and Bobbie's House)
The picture is a bit grainy but the 30? I think probably indicates my 40th Birthday.
However, it was celebrated in grand fashion as so many other events were in our Fillmore House.
Two Brothers - Bruce and Brian
A Johnson Family before Meg. This was a Christmas Trip we made to Lexington, MO with Mom and Annie and then, of course, we had to visit our nephews.
Why David and I are not in this picture I have no answer?
I guess the camera made its necessary improvements so it could be more inclusive.
This is a great picture but where is Janie?
Brian walking his sister, Anne, down the aisle.
Annie's brothers at her Wedding.
Doug and Sue's Wedding
This picture is also at the Episcopal Retreat Center at Lake Wawasee.
There is a certain subtlety to this picture. Do you see it?
Before Brian and Cile moved to Nashville, we would get together at least once a week for dinner usually on Sunday. This is our old house where we often shared good cheer, food, and fun.
Bobbie thinks that this was probably my 40th Birthday (only a few years ago).
We are both looking at the TV so I assume that it was probably an NFL Sunday.
Trinity Episcopal Church
Brian and Cile's Wedding
I am pretty sure this was the rehearsal which was followed by a dinner in the Parish Hall.
The Groom - Ready for the Festivities to Begin
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Patrick Johnson
This was a sad day for Bobbie and me. They had come over to our house to say good-bye as they were leaving Northern Virginia on their way to Nashville, TN. Cile is a little hidden by Brian and the sun but she was crying. It was a difficult departure for all of us.
We had promised Brian and Cile that we would come for their first Christmas in Nashville. Winter trips there were always much nicer than the summer. This is the Opryland Hotel which was one of their favorite places to go for a drink.
Brian and Cile back in Virginia to see us as well as going to a time-share they had in Virginia Beach.
Another Dinner on our Deck
Bruce and Brian
Back in Nashville: We got the hats at the Wild Horse Saloon.
Not to confuse you too much but we are now at Virginia Beach. This would become favorite of theirs for a number of years especially after Labor Day.
It may be a little hard to tell but we are on the balcony facing the ocean. They would always get a place with an ocean front view. One year we went down right after a hurricane had gone through and the fleet had left Norfolk to ride out the storm at sea. The fleet returned the next day when we were there. It was quite impressive to see all these huge naval vessels returning to port.
Two Brothers at the Dugout before our trip around the North Shore.
In 2000 after gathering of family at the Dugout, we took a trip with Brian Cile around the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Brian, Bruce, and Cile at Kakabeka Falls, Ontario
Cile, Brian, and Bruce waiting for the ferry on Mackinac Island
Dave and Joanne's 50th Wedding Anniversary
Bruce and Brian
Brian, Bruce, and Douglas
The Five Johnson Siblings with their Mother
What a Beautiful Group
Bruce, Brian, and Cile
(This was their last family trip outside of Nashville)
Bobbie and I stopped by Nashville on our way back home after Mom and George's 80th Birthday Celebration. The pictures I have since then are ones that I really don't want to share or remember because they are not the Brian and Cile we loved so much.
My Sweet, Sweet Brother
Requiescant in Pace
This picture has nothing actually to do with Brian but provides a unique look at two of his brothers while they were still in college.
This, I suspect, was a Christmas Eve at the Rectory in Logansport after bit of Merry Celebration.
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