I refuse to forget you, Brent.

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to my good friend Brent, who passed away on Saturday night. Brent was one of the first clients I built a friendship with when I came to Rauch a little more than five years ago. Our acquaintance was inevitable, seeing as he was stopping across the hall each day to speak to Lindsey. He would ask her with great enthusiasm, "Are you taking care of it?" The question was about the pocket day planner he wanted for Christmas -- and yes, I started my position in January. 

Soon, I became a part of the routine, too. Per Brent's request, I was to buy his roommate David a wall calendar for a Christmas present. Christmas, Santa, and gifts were some of Brent's absolute favorite things. The past few years, I've taken a vacation at the holidays and missed the big celebration we host at Rauch Industries. Brent would always ask if I was coming to the Christmas party, beginning months leading up to the big day. In fact, I'm quite sure I'd already been asked about the status of my attendance at the 2016 event. 

When I would explain that I was going on a vacation to Brent, his first question was always “Are you driving or flying?" I found this to be especially amusing the years I went to Spain and Puerto Rico. "Flying" was usually my answer, which would lead to an intense interrogation regarding the airline I would be talking. I loved that Brent seemed to remember every airline that has existed in the past 50 years - "Continental? TWA? Northeast? Northwest?"

Like all of us, Brent certainly had his trying moments, but they almost always seemed to be interspersed with enough humor and uniqueness to make them tolerable, and even secretly fun. I always enjoyed chatting with him, even if he was just going through the motions while he tried to get me to give him a "clicky” pen. I even enjoyed talking to him when he was in the midst of battling against something he should do but was resisting, and giggled a bit to myself at his passionate mantra of “I don’t care!! I’m refusing!!"

A short video I compiled of Brent's mostly music-related escapades.

He would use his cherished clicky pens to write lists of his favorite bands (Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Heart, Journey) and things he wanted to purchase at Walmart or the Dollar Tree (watch, wallet, notebook, planner), and to copy information like the schedule for the Indianapolis Colts. 

These were the types of things he loved to talk about, too. Who the musicians were in his favorite bands, what he wanted for Christmas, which IU Basketball players were the best this year. That, and food. Brent loved to eat, especially sugar free ice cream cones from Zesto and sugar free cookies. I loved the tone of his voice, the enthusiasm of his responses to my questions, and his inquisitive and very observant nature. I always said I could chat with him for hours. Now I wish I had.

Brent and me at a dance

Brent was one of those people we serve at Rauch who made his undeniable, seemingly larger than life personality known, and helped me understand the true meaning of my job. It was easy to learn who and what he loved, and yes, who and what he didn’t love. What a wonderful thing to feel and be so strongly that no one can mistake who you are. Thank you for being you, Brent. We will all miss you tremendously.

By Teressa Jackson, Director of Development