Pretty Lights

Pretty Lights

Life is beautiful.

Part 1

Nine years ago, I didn’t believe in anything. Love and spirituality were not my top priorities. They were like ghosts to me, definitely not tangible and questionable as to actually existing. I clung to materialistic objects and thought of beauty only as art or some sort of vanity. The way the sun showcased my Monte Carlo, exposing it’s gleaming, silvery metallic exterior was beauty enough for me.

In April of ’09 I experienced a spiritual awakening. Simply speaking, I met a girl who showed me life was beautiful. I learned this over time from her compassion for others, music, and nature. I felt a jump of excitement whenever I looked at her. Hear healthy, jet black hair curved and waved down her neck until it rested on her shoulders. She was beautiful.

When we first met she invited me to a music festival. I was kind of anxious. I’m not the most talkative guy and I get shy around new people, but her friends and even strangers showed me a compassion and understanding I had not felt from the people I knew. So, unlike anything that had given me anxiety before, I decided to give this festival a second chance the following year. We started dating, bought our tickets, and prepared for our next vacation.

The wonder and eagerness of our trip held us nearly silent. Who would we see this year? What crazy adventures would we have? Upon our arrival, we were met with the soft sounds of a sweet morning. A slight breeze whispered through the field as the bugs buzzed gently. The high grass bowed to the wind, letting it pass before deciding to stand tall again. Birds swam through their weightless ocean, beautiful and free. There was a calm in the air.

I turned my head toward her and smiled. Her face was creamy white, with freckles lightly sprinkled down the bridge of her nose and over her cheeks. Quiet murmurs of excitement and soft purrs of engines waited as we slowly made our way up the dirt road. We were aroused. We knew this was the calm before a beautiful and violent storm. We said our hellos, received our neon wristbands, and followed the usual parking procedure.

The road to the parking area was like a serpent, slowly winding back and forth. We traveled it down and ahead was the open field. The foremost trees were soldiers lining the field in the distance, tall and straight. To the left was a basketball court, the only pavement found on the thirty-three acres. Soon the field would be flooded with people and vendors, of which the court would hide behind. Further down was a labyrinth of paths, naturally woven together. This is where many us would camp. The field continued until it met the tree line which wrapped around to the serpent road.

The scent of hay drying in the sun and fresh cut grass permeated the air. It was like a shot of rum warming my insides…

To Be Continued...

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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