Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Morning After

I'm happy to report that Brian's birthday was a good night.  I got to see about a dozen friends of mine throughout the course of the night.

The first meeting point was Black Sheep Lodge, a place a couple of my friends (who didn't yet know each other) happened to be going, and a place that Brian and I first went to together when we were spring breakers visiting Austin. 

The next stopping point was LeeAnn & Arika's living room, where people trickled in and socialized until it was time to head downtown for the evening.  (LeeAnn & Arika were neighbors of mine at my last apartment and they just ran the San Antonio half marathon with Antonio and me.)  In their kitchen, we started the evening with a toast to Brian.  I told the group that it was his birthday (some already knew, some didn't, and some I'd just met that day), that he would have been 33, he would have been happy his birthday was on a Friday, and would love for us to go celebrate by watching live music out with friends in Austin -- something we had loved doing so much when he was alive.   

The White Ghost Shivers at Antone's, Austin, TX
Once downtown, we split up, as I owed my friend Drew dinner for his help in facilitating my move to San Antonio (he is an apartment locator).  We ate at an amazing tapas bar and had a great bottle of tempranillo.  I told Drew about Trostel's Dish (, a tapas bar in West Des Moines that Brian and I enjoyed.  We had a great meal and conversation, then headed to meet up with a few others at Antone's to see The White Ghost Shivers, a ragtime-style, roaring '20s band.  They are a hoot to see perform, so it was a great time.  Besides that, I love Antone's.  It has a perfect set-up for live music and it is special to me because Brian and I went there and because Antone's is where I met Antonio.  (And, no, that's not why I assigned him the name "Antonio," but it is a funny coincidence.)

Throughout the night, I periodically got texts and e-mails from friends and family, offering support or telling me of their plans to honor and remember Brian on his birthday.  It was wonderful to hear those things.  I think part of the reason this round of birthdays and holidays is hard is because I'm not around in Iowa to lead his friends in toasts, to plan meals at his favorite places, etc.  I was starting to feel bad about not being able to do that, but I was actually able to do that here in Texas, with a bunch of people who now know who he was, how great he was, and how much he meant to me (and always will).  Getting messages of support from loved ones back home helped me realize that I don't have to be the one to keep his memory alive to those he knew -- as LeeAnn pointed out, he was a great enough person that those who knew him will always remember him.  I know I'll always carry his memory, and I know others will too.

All in all, it was a great night. 

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