Shortly after that fun on the playground we learned that our nephew had killed himself after many months of depression and despair. He was Bi-Polar, though we did not know that, and this disease takes one-third of it's victims. I have experience with that disease as my father and two brothers survived it with many limitations on their lives. A fragile mind can be destroyed by some of the assaults of life. Many of us know of others with mental illness and have seen it's effects. No matter the tragedies of someone's life there are days to celebrate and reflect upon. Each of us leave some imprint of our best selves on others and Braden Asay was no exception.
We knew him, yes, as the heart of the party. Kind, polite, and so much fun, he made us all glad to be around him. Our last longish encounter was at the wedding of my son Andrew. The family stayed up late to play games and he introduced us to the game "Mafia". I haven't played it since but I still smile at the memories of that night.
These were some of the cousins, not all, but those who were available at the wedding shoot. The groom was obviously busy and Jon must have been chasing kids.
What I know for sure is that someone was there to greet him and take him home. Grandma Beth knew he was coming and prepared the way.