There is Beauty in Tragedy

My friend was taken away from me in the middle of the night. A horrible mix of alcohol and being behind the wheel at 4am was the cause of his death. It was one of the most heartbreaking things I had ever experienced in my life. It’s funny how your mind sometimes tries to block things out when you search for clarity on such a tragic moment in time. I had never felt such pain, than the night I was told he was dead.

I remember the police saying that the driver was at one point driving with their knees, going 70mph through these twists and turns out in the dark, gloomy, wooded roads, only 30 minutes away from our house. Unfortunately this late night drive ended up costing my best friend his life, along with a couple others I had known. The vehicle had spun out of control flipping onto it’s side. One of my friends flew through the windshield hitting a tree dead on, crushing his skull and dying on impact. My friend Jason had been thrown from the vehicle as it barrel-rolled into the woods. The entire car ended up on top of him, crushing his chest, and pushing the blood flow to his brain keeping him conscious and alive. The medics watched hopelessly only to call his mother and give her the horrible news. Once they lifted the car off of Marcus the blood would leave his brain and he would pass on. There was nothing they could do. No one on earth could save my best friend.

The pole

Marcus and I first met on the street between our houses where he was selling candy bars for a fundraiser. We connected instantly and were pretty much inseparable from then on… or so I thought. His family became mine and vice versa. I had never had an older brother and to be honest I had always wanted one. He even taught me how to play basketball, (till this day I’m not very good). We would spend many nights having dunking contests and then hours upon hours of gaming on whatever “Madden” was out that particular year.

Then there was the day I found out Marcus was a true friend. Not one of those “fair-weather friends” we all seem to have. It was the day he beat down my nemesis, defending me from my middle-school bully named James. In my own front yard even! The ultimate dis. James came to my house one day asking to borrow a basketball. I was standing on the front porch and could already feel that this situation was going to get way out of hand. Often times James would pick on me before and after class. I was a short skinny, scrawny kid back then and I didn’t know how to handle bullies. He would make fun of my height, weight and would pick on the clothes I wore. I didn’t have a ton of money for clothes but my mom did the best she could with what she had. My attire consisted of wal-mart, bugle boy and Everlast. This kid James even made me cry once in class, and so I wasn’t fond on the idea of giving him my basketball. I told James that I didn’t have a basketball for him, he didn’t like that reply and started talking down to me. Marcus overheard James running his mouth and didn’t like what he had heard one bit. As James continued trash talking Marcus storms outside to confront him telling him to hit the road. James and Marcus practically touched noses that day staring eye to eye and I could see things were getting pretty heated. Then one of them snapped, and as quick as pulling a trigger, I saw James push Marcus. “Is this really happening?” I thought to myself. Did James really just push Marcus? Someone is going to die today. I guess I should also tell you that Marcus was a bigger, stronger, more confident kid than James or I ever were. Marcus’ face completely went from concern to a fearless rage. He grabbed James by the shirt and threw him into my trashcans. Then as James tried to retaliate, (If I remember correctly) Marcus got in a hell of a shot, landing a doozy on James’s right cheek sending him into my recycling bin. James ended up jumping back to his feet, awkwardly walking backwards, spitting out threats of a gang coming to beat us up… but that never happened and James never came back to borrow a basketball or kick my ass.

That was the day I realized Marcus was the real deal.

I was forever grateful to have a friend like him. He taught me how to stick up for myself, how to honor your work and never leave a job unfinished. He invested countless hours into my life and I have to say I almost looked at him as a father figure. All of these great memories of us together as brothers, these memories are the ones I’ve decided to hold onto, and still grip closely in my heart.

The last time I saw Marcus was only a few weeks prior to the accident. We were sitting on my trampoline talking about how we were so close. How we liked to stay out on the streets playing ball until late night. We discussed his new pair of glasses (I had never seen him in glasses before). He looked nothing like himself and in a way he was growing up and becoming a man. I’m glad I got to see that part of him.

Jake Singing

I wrote a song in dedication to his life on earth. I know from fans replies that it has moved and encouraged many of them to seek healing of those they have lost. Marcus’ morals and values are branded on my heart and he will always be a legend in my eyes. He was a huge inspiration and invested time and sweat into my life. For anyone reading this that has lost someone close to them, you’ve got to see the good even if there life was unfortunately cut short. Appreciate the memories you had with that person, and cherish the ones you make with others now. We don’t have all the time in the world, and we never know when that will run out. Invest your time in those that you love; that brother or sister you adore and make it your goal to be their Marcus. The type of person who speaks love and breathes life. One who is willing to throw a punch, or teach a trade. We need each other more than we think. We need to pursue one another, because at the end of the day all that this earth has to offer will wither and fail. But a lesson taught from a friend ends up being the tablet on your heart.

God Bless Marcus.

Showing 15 comments
  • Trevor
    Reply

    What a good read. What is the song that is dedicated to Marcus? I am a big ABR fan but somehow can’t figure this out on my own.

    • sarah
      Reply

      Beauty in tragedy is the name of the song. Its on rescue and restore 🙂

      • blake
        Reply

        And Mosley off the Lost Messengers

  • Jeremy Boxerman
    Reply

    Amazing read, Jake. I have fortunately never lost a close friend, but I did get a phone call one morning that struck me. It was the morning I was moving out of my friend’s place to go live with my brother and his roommate, and my 2 best friends were coming to help me move from point A to point B. At around 7-8am when I woke up that morning, my best friend left a voice message on my phone, saying his father had committed suicide. The message started off saying he couldn’t make it, so I was a little upset at first because he had cancelled at the last second but I noticed he was tearing up, and that’s when he told me what was up. The message was cut short right after he told me his father had committed suicide. I was so in shock, sitting on my bed for close to an hour, not knowing what to do or say. I felt so bad that I was a little upset before knowing what had happened…

    I learned a few months after the tragedy why it happened. It was because my best friend’s father was abused by his uncle (if I remember correctly) when he was young, and there was a court-trial coming up. He didn’t want to confess in front of his entire family and because he was so ashamed, he hung himself. I can’t remember how my friend came to know about the events, but since then, he has been taking anti-depressants daily…

    It’s such an amazing gesture though what you have done, and it’s also nice to know the meaning behind that song. One of my favourites from R&R for sure, had that song blasting on repeat for months haha. R.I.P. Marcus, God bless!

  • Nathan Mendyk
    Reply

    It was my favorite song in the whlole album already, but now its greater than that… I have yet to figure out a word for it.

    • Jacobluhrs
      Reply

      Nathan,
      Glad you appreciate the story. And i’m also happy to hear you enjoy the song so much!

  • David Mcmenemy
    Reply

    Good read, and sorry for your loss.

    The last three sentences of your story need to be lyrics in a future ABR song.

    “We need each other more than we think. We need to pursue one another, because at the end of the day all that this earth has to offer will wither and fail. But a lesson taught from a friend ends up being the tablet on your heart.”

    • Jacobluhrs
      Reply

      David,
      Thanks for reading and i’ll keep that in mind! haha Appreciate you being a part of the community!

  • juana
    Reply

    just read this. beautiful. thanks for the word of truth and encouragement. may God bless you.

  • Elder Reeve
    Reply

    I was so sorry to hear about Marcus! He sounds a lot like my best friend. http://goo.gl/QdlNdi I hope that this will help a little bit. Good luck! I really do hope that this helps

  • Shaun Turpenning
    Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss jake, that is so tragic. When I bought the rescue and restore album I really hadn’t really paid attention to the lyrics just the guitars and drums, but tonight I’m going to my first concert to see u guys. So I decided to learn the lyrics, and that’s when I stumed upon this song. When I took a moment to go through the lyrics and listen to the music it hit me hard. I got teary eyes as I thought about the loss of my father. He was murdered by a man. I don’t know why he did it, I don’t know why he died, I didn’t understand it. But this song, after a year passing of my father being gone, has made me realize a lot and has gotten me through so much. I just want to thank you so much, your music has gotten me through so much and has such a huge inspirational impact on my

  • Shaun Turpenning
    Reply

    My life

  • Shaun Turpenning
    Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss jake, that is so tragic. When I bought the rescue and restore album I really hadn’t really paid attention to the lyrics just the guitars and drums, but tonight I’m going to my first concert to see u guys. So I decided to learn the lyrics, and that’s when I stumed upon this song. When I took a moment to go through the lyrics and listen to the music it hit me hard. I got teary eyes as I thought about the loss of my father. He was murdered by a man. I don’t know why he did it, I don’t know why he died, I didn’t understand it. But this song, after a year passing of my father being gone, has made me realize a lot and has gotten me through so much. I just want to thank you so much, your music has gotten me through so much and has such a huge inspirational impact on my

  • nick
    Reply

    isn’t boys of fall about this too?

  • Bree Coles
    Reply

    This really opens the eyes of a lot of people, pure inspiration from something so heart wrecking

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