Some great advice from a great man who I miss dearly.
I first met Bryan when I was working at Avolites, I really didn’t know who he was at the time and he gave me the impression he wanted to keep it that way. Not in a “Do you not know who I am” sort of way. More in a way he was more interested in what you did and wasn’t interested in bragging about his own achievements which I learned there were quite a lot.
Over the next few months we got to know each other pretty well, mainly as I was the tech support person for the lighting desk he always used and I was always happy to go that extra mile for him answering the phone at night or sometimes even popping in my car and helping him in person.
Bryan used to half run a pretty big lighting production company and had operated the lighting for some massive acts, Kylie, Justin Timberlake, Manic Street Preachers even Coldplay when they started out. (ill forgive him for that). He got diagnosed with Cancer and pretty much got told that was it, game over, make a bucket list and tell those that care about you there isn’t long. However he fought it and for now was given the all clear. I remember him telling me he always turned up for chemotherapy wearing his best suit to show the cancer he means business and it worked.
He got the itch to do lighting again and started a new lighting venture and gave a step up for so many people in the process and that was when I first met this amazing man.
I got my diagnosis a few months after I had met Bryan and he was one of the first people outside of my family I had told about it. Instantly everything that was happening became unimportant to him and his focus was dedicated to sitting me down on the big leather sofa at Avolites and having a chat. I don’t remember much of the conversation as it was mostly chit chat but there was one piece of advice he gave me that I now always think about me in my situation.
He said “The way you need to think about your body now is it has a lodger and that lodger for 99% of the time is going to sit in his room, eating a microwave meal and watch coronation street on the tv. But, every now and again he is going to have a big party when you least expect it in your body, plates and glasses will get smashed, drinks spilled and carpets stained and you’re the one who’s going to have to clean it up.”
Since that little chat on the sofa we remained very close and he was like a Yoda to my Luke Skywalker offering advice on anything I was puzzled / pissed off / perplexed / other things beginning with p and other letters. He even came to support me with his wife Tracy when I had decided to attempt my first tough mudder which was amazing and has always been there for me but that one piece of advice lives with me.
Bryans battle was finally lost last year which when I heard was through social media, not the best way and instantly went downstairs and burst into tears in Chrisi’s arms. I had only spoken to him on the phone a few weeks previously and I knew something was up. It was like he had called me to say goodbye. I was on my way to a blood test at the time and had to end the call to have the appointment which I really regret now.
The funeral was one of the most beautiful buildings on that day, the sun was perfectly shining through the circular walls made of different coloured glass bricks it was like he had designed the best lighting ever for his swan song. So many people he had crossed paths with during his life were there and so many people I knew. I learned during the ceromony he had touched so many lives just as he had touched mine and I got a chance to say a final goodbye.
After the funeral was a celebration of his life and it was an absolute honour to have set the lighting for the room up knowing I had taken part in one final gig for Bryan and I’m sure others felt the same way.
He will always be in my mind and thankfully the lodger hasn’t had a big house party yet and the things I am doing have probably added a few more padlocks on his door if he does try. Hopefully his wise words will give you another way of thinking about your lodger.