I’ve been told that when I accept the fact that Thomas is gone I’ll be able to move on. Truth is, we never ever move on. I may appear happier or someday the years will have passed since I’ll have see him last but that doesn't mean he won't be far from my mind. People who mourn I don’t think ever “move on”. Our love for them, the memories we’ve had and the lessons we learn from our heartache keep them close to our hearts – forever.
Today marks Thomas Bjerke’s 23rd birthday. A day, I think, we could all agree is a bittersweet day for many of his relatives, friends and the community. A beautiful life that was taken from us far too soon and yet we all feel exceedingly thankful to have shared 22 fantastic years with him.
For many, I know this year has been focused a lot on Thomas’ death and the negative aspect of losing someone you love so much. The numerous whys and if’s we’ve all run through our minds countless times throughout the day. There are many of us struggling with getting through each day without Thomas and trying to understand God’s plan.
Throughout the last 10 months I feel as though I’ve learned more about life than I have the 22 years of my existence. Losing Thomas was a rude awakening and I have often wondered how I had been so ignorant my entire life. I, like many others, usually measured success in the luxury of material man-made items. In my past I’ve treated others with the disrespect they didn’t deserve and I wasn’t always understanding or sympathetic to those who needed it most.
I’ve learned that perhaps the meaning of a successful life doesn’t mean the dollar amount in your bank account and maybe it means having had taken every opportunity that has knocked on your door. Maybe a successful life on Earth is knowing you touched someone in some way that changed their outlook on their life and they began treating others, and especially themselves, with love and respect. Maybe a successful life means sharing God with one person and them eventually accepting Him into their hearts. There are numerous ways to measure monumental success without it related to fortune or fame.
I will be the first to admit I can be a bit harsh when people upset me or say rude things about my friends and family. I’m still learning to try to brush it off and remember what’s important in this life. That knowing the truth about my friends - my family - me and experiencing their abundant love matters more than what others will say or perceive about them or myself. I've learned someone may call me mean and nasty names but that doesn’t make me those things. I’ve learned only I'm in control of my happiness and how I handle difficult situations. Positivity is a way of life that has to be learned through trial and error.
I have finally decided on a major and am on the straight, but probably still rocky, road to graduate from the tiny little Catholic college here in town. I’ve set a goal for myself for pushing myself physically and I’ve started reading my bible again. I’ve learned to love my fiancé, friends and family more passionately, openly and carefully. I have decided I need to fulfill my long time dream of writing a book – sooner over later. I owe all these lessons to Thomas. I really do…
So today, instead of mourning his inability to be here physically, I feel we need to celebrate his life and the years he was with us on Earth. I would say that all the lessons he’s taught us while alive and after he’s passed shows that he’ll continue to grow older spiritually. He lives inside of each one of us making this our day to celebrate someone’s life we’ve loved so dearly.
Happy 23rd Birthday Thomas!! I’m not sure God, Jesus nor the angels drink Busch Light or Rumplemintz but I do and I hope you’re enjoying yourself anyways ;)
Until we meet again & with all my love,