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Old 09-22-2009, 09:43 AM
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Default In celebration...

I deliberated long and hard before typing out this post, esp in titling it. Although this anniversary marks the lowest point in the Bergs' lives and is a reminder of the loss that was felt by the many whom had come to love, respect and appreciate Garrett, I want to take this a different direction. Id like to celebrate what this young man brought to the world and what he continues to bring long after that fateful day.

Personally, I never met Garrett or even knew of him until I inadvertently ran into Thumpertalk, where the many lives he had touched, were shocked by his passing a few days after the fact. What drove me to TT is still a mystery, since Ive never owned a 4S in my life or even had the desire to own one. I read what seemed to be endless accounts of praises bestowed upon him by people across the country, even the world. The more I read, the more compelled I was to find out more about this man that had the gift of touching so many lives in a positive way. In fact, I remember questioning whether or not I had made a difference to the lives of others myself. As I probed deeper, I was shocked and amazed to find out that this was only a kid. Here was someone that had turned the whole board upside down. Here was someone that had the engineering prowess of a trained professional. More importantly, here was someone that readily, and willingly shared his information with anyone that needed it. Here was someone that was just a teenager.

Months later, I once again, found myself aimlessly wandering the internet and running into ATM. As many have, I found it odd that alot of people sported the 393 after their names and as many have, I questioned this. I was directed to the GMB section and more specifically, to Mr Berg's letter to his son. Right away it struck me who Motoman393 was and I was dumbfounded that my life's path would once again cross with this young man. After spending hours going thru the posts, I found it difficult and unready to conquer "the Letter". I remember laying awake in bed that evening thinking about the full circle I had travelled.

Our lives took a devastating turn around that time. My wife lost her little brother and best friend to an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 32. This was the first loss that hit close to home for both of us and her family's world was turned upside down. My father in law ceased to exist in almost all sense of the word. He withdrew from his family and from life in general. He shut himself off from the outside world and existed only in a sort of self induced coma. What was once a closely knit family became distanced and isolated.

As seems to be the theme of my journey, for no apparent reason, I found myself ready to tackle "the Letter" late one evening. Mr Berg's emotions hung thick on every word he wrote. I travelled with him on his journey, almost as if I were there, by his side. To be honest, I wasnt struck by his pain and suffering or by the love or deep sense of loss he felt. What father wouldnt have? What struck me was where this devastation had led him. How at one point, for whatever reason, he decided, or it was decided for him, that Garrett's memory would not be confined to hurt and sadness within the Bergs, but would instead be used as a vehicle to help the families of others that would undergo such a tragic loss. Here was a man that was forced to question his existence, his will to continue and his faith, and he stood tall in the face of such uncertainty. Just the polar opposite of my father in law. I never stood in judgement of my father in law, I just needed to understand where Mr Berg found his strength. That was my first GMB.

That was also the GMB where the GMB foundation was instrumental in helping Cody and his family attend. Needless to say, my life was forever changed from that day forward. I hugged my kids a little longer, I tried to focus more on their successes and dwell a little less on their shortcomings and appreciated them for what they were, not as I wished them to be. Dont get me wrong-I still have a loooong way to go.

Around that time I found my family being challenged by what has been our biggest hurdle. My oldest son sank into a bout of despair and depression, questioning his self worth, his reason for being and his will to live. In his convoluted mind, he came to the conclusion that somehow, we'd be better off without him. Carri and I were on pins and needles during this time. Afraid to leave him alone, cautious of our every word, laying awake at night wondering if we had seen our son for the last time.

One night, as I conversed on ATM about attending that year's GMB and contemplating the previous year's experiences, I decided Id introduce my son to "the Letter". I asked him to read Mr Berg's words so that he could get a clear understanding of what the loss of a child means to a father. I also made the decision that he would attend GMB with me that year so he could experience the legacy of Garrett himself. I wanted him to witness how one seemingly simple and insignificant teenager could change the lives of so many. How one little pebble could initiate a seemingly endless wave of love, respect and honor that radiates across the pond of life. Needless to say he was added to the list as yet another one whose life has forever been touched and changed by the legacy of Garrett.

My next challenge lay in bringing Garrett, Mr. Berg and my father in law together. My hope was that Mr Berg's journey would be an inspiration to help my father in law overcome his despair. Unfortunately, the path he chose after his loss caught up to him before that became a reality and we lost him. In his final days, he and the family found solace in the fact that he would be reunited with his beloved son, once again.

In closing, Id like to say thank you, Mike, for being a shoulder to lean on, for being an ear to talk to and for being a friend. In getting to know you these past few years I have come to realize that indeed, as you state cleanly and simply, youre not a superhuman being. You are just a man that has managed and continues to manage to survive a devastating loss. A man that has found the strength in a higher power and in his family that allows him to "just be there" for the many people that find themselves facing the seemingly insurmountable death of a loved one. Selfishly, even more importantly to me, thank you for making me become a better father and a better person. Unlike my path to you, the leagacy that your beloved son has come to fulfill and the woman your daughter has become and continues to become didnt happen inadvertently. It was planted, nourished and cultivated by you and your wife. Your family is an inspiration to us all. God Bless you.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:33 AM
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What an excellent way to respect Garrett and the Bergs on this day. I am 100% sure the experience you shared is one of the miracles that keep Mr. Berg engaged!

Mr. Berg has chosen to spend this day with Garrett in his own special way. He traveled to the Texas Hill Country last night and plans to spend the day on the winding roads of "Gods Country" as we speak. Please keep him in your thoughts and say a prayer to keep him safe!

Godspeed GMB!
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:48 AM
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Well put guys, my thoughts and prayers go out to Mike and his family today.

Be safe out there today Mike!
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:21 PM
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Great post from a Great man about an AWESONE young man and the father and family whom we all love and support.

Mike, Suzzett, Shannon, I love you guys. Prayers for all of you today.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:00 PM
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George I know you always have a great way with words! Thanks for sharing. As always, that was perfectly put.

Special thoughts and prayers to the Bergs.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:56 PM
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Mike, Suzette & Shannon,

Our thoughts are in Texas today.

Love & Friendship,
Dane, Debbie & Jack
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:51 PM
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AMEN AMEN
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:39 PM
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Very well put George. Mr. Berg has been a friend to many and he is a fine man. I wish I could carry some of his traits.

Godspeed Garrett.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:14 PM
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Excellent post. Thank you for sharing that, we are honored. Garrett's life has touched so many people in so many ways, including my family.

Mike, Suzette and Shannon, we are thinking about you today and wish you the very best. Thank you again for letting us be part of your family.

Brent

Godspeed Garrett 393!!
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:25 PM
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The Berg family has been in my thoughts today.

Godspeed Garrett.
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