My Lesson from Brad

Brad Venable and Peter K. O'Connell

Brad Venable and Peter K. O’Connell

I’m going to talk about me here in this post but it’s about a lesson I had today that I pray can help you. I also have a message for you that I hope you’ll see at the end. Here goes…

I fail at peopling sometimes.

Hard.

Some years ago…I had a very minor business disagreement with voice actor Brad Venable who has been my friend for years and to this day. Through both our faults, I think we went to our neutral corners (as men sometimes do) and stayed there.

Time passed, there were some likes and positive social media comments we shared with each other but for no other reason than I thought we’d moved on from it and were probably OK, I did not pick up the phone. I was thoughtless about this because I know better.

Never leave friendship, never leave love, never leave understanding unsaid.

Today, I received my penalty for my thoughtlessness and hundreds of my voiceover friends received the equally crushing news that Brad’s health had quickly failed him and he died.

Today, the would-ofs, should-ofs and could-ofs have poured from my eyes and heart torrentially.

I deprived myself of the interaction with a wonderfully caring, sensitive and joyous soul. If he felt a burden, I neglected to lift it from him. I distanced myself. For what? Why?

My failure to directly initiate forgiveness – clear the air- was and is shameful. Period.

In the Catholic Mass, there is a prayer, the Confiteor, said by the congregation that reads in part:

I confess to almighty God

and to you, my brothers and sisters,

that I have greatly sinned

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done,

and in what I have failed to do;

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

“My most grievous fault.” Oh boy.

Is there forgiveness? There is always forgiveness…God forgives and I believe Brad forgave. Here’s why.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, without knowing Brad had died, Brad clearly came into my thoughts. I was thinking about him, in my mind I was offering advice because he used to ask me stuff. Why would he come into my thoughts like that…on THIS day?

Why would my feelings and my thoughts about this internal communication with Brad at that moment be positive and great?

I may not know for sure for a while or ever.

Maybe I am kidding myself or trying to make myself feel better…but I think Brad did that. What else explains it? Goodness knows how many hearts Brad reached out to today but he certainly was that kind of guy.

I think his spirit….his wonderful, loving, gifted, sensitive spirit somehow knew he and I needed to communicate our friendship and love. Forgiveness…in life he understood when he needed to ask for it and when it needed to be offered….I talked to him about it many times.

I would feel better if I had done it on this earth but..that is the lesson from Brad.

Likely if you are reading this, you are not a stranger to me and are, in fact, a friend, colleague or family member of mine (my voiceover blog readership isn’t that big).

Here’s the lesson: Know that you, my family and friends, are loved by me.

I need make sure I continue to go through my life, raising my children with Andrea, doing my work…all with love in my heart, expressing that love to those that need to hear it. Less pettiness, less pride and more care. Stumbles to expected, maybe, but I need to do the work.

You and I will do right and wrong by each other, we will have both shared and opposed beliefs and we will hopefully figure that out…but you are loved and appreciated. That’s in writing.

Brad will want us to move forward with our lives and we will…with love in our hearts and our words.  So let it be done

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