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Overstreet: Talbert was a wonderful friend

One of the biggest impacts in my life is my church family. They seem to know the exact time when something will go wrong, so they are always there on time to be a shoulder to lean on.
This past weekend, a part of that family was lost — Brandon Talbert, at the age of only 19.
As I prepare to attend his funeral, I think back to all of the great memories I have that involve him.
I started attending Concordia Lutheran Church in sixth grade, not knowing any of the other kids that went there. Brandon immediately became my friend, introducing me to everyone. He never let me have the time to feel out of place or left out because he just assumed that I was immediately part of the group.
Then there were times that we had special events, like singing Christmas carols to the shut-ins. He would sing to the best of his ability but he was never a straight-laced kind of guy, he had to have some fun with it, so he would make faces or sway back and forth.
There was never a time that he was not doing something to make others laugh or feel good about themselves.
The memories simply begin there, however.
The most recent memories of something major that we shared was Confirmation Sunday last May. For two years, we went to confirmation classes on certain Saturdays, usually one per month. We learned about our religion, about the Bible and mainly about how we can get through everyday life by knowing these things.
There were three individuals in our class, Brandon, Hannah and myself. With each of us being in high school, my pastor decided to do something different with the three of us. Rather than requiring a project to be done, we helped with the entire service.
Keep in mind that Confirmation Sunday was the morning after Brandon’s senior prom. Brandon decided that he was going to pull an all nighter. He even arrived to church wearing his tuxedo from the previous night.
I kept telling him how nervous I was about talking in front of everyone, so during the service he pretty much pushed me out in front when it was my turn to speak because he thought I would chicken out.
He was a bright, lively teenager who accepted everyone as is, no questions asked.
I was speaking to a member of our youth group Sunday, and he said something that has stuck with me:
“Brandon was the one person that could do something loud and crazy to make us excited about almost anything.”
Those words alone describe why he was such a wonderful friend.

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