I always assumed my father would die in my lifetime -just as every child assumes of their parents- I just didn't know the event would take place so soon in both of our lives. Death is unpredictable and sudden, non-sensical and absurd.
"This is non-sense," that's all I kept uttering as I gripped my father's swollen hand in the hospital room. He was home when I clocked into work, and in the hospital when I clocked out. So many people's lives changed so quickly without notice.
But there is comfort in the non-sense, tranquility in the uncertainty, and a shining presence in his absence. Of all the deaths my father could've had, in light of all those dark possibilities, I'm glad Dad's death was swift, and I'm glad death found him on his motorcycle: the machine that always made him smile as it carried us hundreds of miles down the highway together.
Dad lived an amazing life, a life that amazed most of the people fortunate enough to befriend him. He constantly amazed me with his hair-brained ideas, and just the right amount of luck and skill to make them happen. Dad always believed in himself, even when he had no sane reason to do so. And that, in my opinion, was Dad's most admirable quality: the ability to face any challenge confidently- with a confidence that bordered on a foreknowledge of success (or at least a good time).
I miss you Dad, and I know a solid handful of your mannerisms live on in me. And your spirit, it too animates me and drives me forward. Everyone loved you, and we all miss you coming through the door.
My father Thomas Neil Burrus II, was killed in a motorcycle accident on 29 June 2009. He was 53 years old. He leaves behind a boat load of friends, family, and my precious mother, all who miss him dearly. He went ahead of me, his proud son- the only one who can claim that honor.
For my father's memorial service, my cousin Amy and I made the following video that was played in the chapel. I hope all of you enjoy seeing Dad smile as he did all the things that made him happy. Please enjoy: