by Jill Mitchell
I have been writing this in my head as a sort of rebuttal to Crash by Brian John Mitchell in QRD #32 for quite a while. I have known Brian for his entire life: from the adorable blue-eyed baby who didn’t settle in to sleep in his crib when our parents were out unless I was lying on the floor close by; to our first musical pursuits as kids with a reed flute; to a bright eyed & inquisitive boy; to a moody goth dressed in black; & to the amazing man that I know today.
Reading “Crash” wounds me in a strange way, since Brian is the person most like me in the world, I feel that I should have figured out a way to protect him from all of the pain & angst that I’ve been through. Unfortunately, we are both professionals at keeping these things hidden, so help is hard to find.
In a world where everything is disposable & temporary, Brian is real. I see “Brian John Mitchell” as merely the bulletproof shield that allows Brian to brave the cruel world at large & the vicious world of the music business. Brian is the real thing: a true & loyal friend; a person with integrity, humility, & genuine compassion.
By now you may be thinking, "Yeah, yeah, his sister thinks he’s great…. So what?” But your apathy doesn’t slow me down a bit.
I will give you a real life example to illustrate who Brian really is. I have an incurable disease, which often times has a mind of its own. I was alone & sick one January a couple of years back & I called Brian to see if he could take me for a CATscan the next morning. He did not hesitate to rearrange his schedule to take me. When he came to pick me up, he could not wake me and, initially, he thought that I was dead (he later told me). He was nothing but supportive in helping to get ready & go for my appointment. At this point, I was too weak to really walk on my own & he helped me with the quiet confidence that I have come to know. I had a high fever & was quite confused & disoriented, but Brian seemed to be able to anticipate my needs. He stayed with me day & night in the hospital & made sure that the nursing staff met my medical needs. He even brought me contraband food & drinks in a little cooler, since I couldn’t seem to keep anything in. Even when I told him to go home & get some rest, he insisted on seeing me through & took a week off of work to take care of me. I know in my heart that I would have died alone, without Brian’s steadfast caring & concern.
While some may say that showing unconditional
love makes Brian weak, I say that a man that chooses to put others’ needs
before his own & to refuse to embrace the disposable materialism of
the world is a strong & admirable man indeed. Brian is an unsung
hero to anyone who knows him well.