Lessons in life can come in really small and special packages 0
So your best friend calls you up, and says he’s going to do a BBQ Fundraiser. He doesn’t have to ask you if you want to help, he knows the answer. He just has to tell you where and when it is. Now here is the thing, your best friend is in the trenches of his own troubles in life, but still gives everything he can give to help others. How can you not support someone like that? This fundraiser is for a little girl, born with a broken heart, and her family that is even with health insurance is completely overcome with debt to pay the medical expenses. How much can one small group of people do? It really doesn’t matter, even a $1 that they don’t have, helps!
Fast forward to the day of the BBQ Fundraiser, anyone that has cooked for a lot of people with a small army of volunteers knows it’s not easy. It was a CRAZY busy day, and many of us were really tired, but we were driven by the knowledge it was for this little girl, her heart, and her family. I finally took a time out from all the running around to get some food myself, and rest my angry feet. While I took that moment, I got a chance to meet this little girl named Brooklynn, she was very shy. I even got down on my knee, as I know the 6 foot 3 inch giant can be very scary to a little thing like that. I tried to say hi to her, but couldn’t coax her out of hiding behind her mom’s legs…
Brooklynn’s mom Tracy & I got into conversation about the experience of what the Congenital Heart Defect, which Brooklynn was born with has done to her. She was now working on a non-profit to help raise awareness for it. It’s My Heart – Austin was her work, basically by herself to honor her daughter, and their biggest challenge was having funds to do anything to raise awareness. In this conversation, I expressed I was going to do something to help even more than this BBQ Fundraiser that day, as the debt was still nowhere near paid.
This is where Hero’s enter the scene, because I couldn’t have even started to do what I wanted without their help. Terry & Joey Tschoerner, from Terry’s Body Shop in Taylor Texas, Don Painter and Leanna Knous, from Browning Auto Part’s. Without them, the #50 would have never made it to the track, the countless shop hours at Terry’s body Shop, converting my old Thunder Stock to San Antonio Speedway Charger rules. Browning Auto Parts making sure the costs and Funding for Tires & race day expenses doesn’t take away from the goals.
So wait I am going to a VERY fast, high banked track that I have never raced at and pretty much no idea what I am doing. I don't have much time to learn as practice is short. Oh let me mention that another driver wrecked in practice right in front of where we were pitted. I will just describe his car after this wreck as an obtuse Triangle instead of a sporty rectangle. Thank you Anthony & Russell Gordon on helping me with step up, to help with putting me on the spot with handing and how to get around this monster. A monster that likes to eat racecars when drivers make mistakes. Was I scared pulling onto this strange race track, in a car that I wasn't sure of, OHHH YEAH!! I put it on the internet what I was doing, so I better get over this quick, as there is no time to chicken out!
There are a lot of other thank you's to put out there, my race day crew, Ryan, John, Janice, Brandie. Along with the Staff at San Antonio speedway, Rodney, Debbie, Nathan, Brian. Thank you for SAS giving passes to Brooklynn and her family to join us for this night, that's where this story gets special. Even a bigger THANK YOU to all the people that have donated, and continue to donate toward Brooklynn's needs thru this portal: www.gofundme.com/BrooklynnsHeart
Here is this 3yr old little girl, fresh off of her 2nd, Yes SECOND! Open heart surgery to mend her broken heart. March 5th, Brooklynn's life was in the hands of the talented doctors and God. This Brave little girl, came thru with flying colors, April 20th she is sitting in the stands with her family and you would have never known anything was even wrong with her. Her Smile for enjoying the races was priceless! It got cold that night, and it got late, and she stuck it out thru all of this.
So what did I learn from all of this that changed my life forever? Look at the smile on this girl’s face, with all the pain that she & her family have been thru. Do you see pain? Do you see scared? I don't see pain, I see a little girl and her family grateful for one of gods BIG, little miracles. Life could be very short, don't waste a single day. Do what makes you happy, because happiness is not a pursuit, it’s a state of mind. Enjoying what you have, because you never know when you will not have it.
Tracy Brooklynn's mom has a blog, and wrote in it about her experience, this was part of her closing statement: "I hope that one day I'll be able to do something for all of the people that have been so generous and selfless in helping us"
Find her whole blog here: http://www.tracyandbrooklynn.blogspot.com/search?updat
I want to be very clear in my reply to this, there is no debt to be paid for
those that have helped you. They help because your little angel is stronger than all of us hope to be some days. We didn't just help you in your journey, you have helped us in ours. Today, I stand in a snow storm in New Hampshire, Proudly wearing my Brooklynn T-shirt & Red!
- Aaron Brungot
Why Christmas Trees 0
I am not writing this blog to hurt anyone, these details can get deep, and many people would look the other way when faced with this kind of stuff. To be honest, there are parts of this life that I shouldn’t have looked away from, but I did and I am very sorry I did. I promised myself that mind, body & soul I was going to get my life right. Now it’s quickly moving in the right direction.
It will take a few blogs to explain this truly overpowering story and chain of events. I know without a doubt, that the time is now to give up my nearly 16 year career in corporate America. To be honest, with the chain of events, and the knowledge that I have learned since, I am nearly certain it was going to happen even if I didn’t choose to jump. I am giving it up to chase a 22 year old dream of growing Christmas trees and building a “Choose & Cut” Christmas tree farm & experience.
OK, stopping right there, let me explain something in the wrong frame of mine, this entire idea currently scares the dickens out of me! But after a series of “perfectly” timed events in my life, I have no doubts this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now. Every time my mind flutters on the plan & events, It quickly gets a correction by someone that seems to be a spy in my mind, seeing the doubts, and clearly erasing them.
Here is the set up that makes the meat of this story make sense. Many people know of my efforts and works the last few years, I will do anything I can when I see children hurting, or in a tough situation with family and friends. I am a believer that it’s not about what you take with you when you die, it’s what you leave behind. Yes, I am a child of divorced parents, the events that led up to that divorce shaped me to who I am today. There are many things that I won’t put in this blog, but I will sum these events up this way. Alcohol & abuse can ruin families and set in motion a very nasty chain of events that ruins many lives for many years. I did not learn how to do stuff the right way, I learned the wrong, and had to find the right way. I promised myself young in my life, I would not follow in the footstep I was being taught from.
This leads into the why Christmas Trees? There are two reasons, in high school, we had 400 acres of land that the FFA department managed. One area was a Christmas tree field, I remember many times, begging to mow the field, so I could escape school, and go to a place that I found truly peaceful. Our next door neighbors to the land we had in Dalton, NH also had Christmas trees planted in their fields. I would take the dogs for walks, and routinely walk the rows to trees, It was my peaceful place. I remember times of laying on the ground in these rows of trees for long durations of time, just escaping life.
The second reason, Christmas became my favorite holiday. At Christmas, family gathered, and the events and pains of my childhood stopped being painful. Maybe it was only for a few hours or days, but it was happy times, getting gifts that you wanted and begged for all year, but couldn’t have them. Getting to see family that you hadn’t seen in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t all bad, there was a lot of good, and to be honest the bad revolved around one thing, alcohol. I truly believed it was the devil in a bottle.
Now why today, to start to tell this story. Today is my grandfather, Robert P. Bigelow’s Birthday, This man was the light in many dark days. He was the man that taught me like a father how to live the right way, how to love, even when times were tough. No need for fancy things, just truly caring, and enjoying life. I was truly honored to give his eulogy at his funeral, and the words I spoke then, I am living now, my soul has been awakened, I am investing my life in what I truly love. I love the true spirit of Christmas, and I will make that spirit, and nurturing it my job, and the base of my living.
If you’re still reading this, this is just the beginning. This story gets to be over powering, I am a true believer that god has stepped into my life, to turn me around from a sinking ship, and will tell you how… I leave you with the video “Dream.”
It came into my life at a dark time, and provided a huge light!
- Aaron Brungot