Proverbs 18: 24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
When we met you, we didn’t know you would change our family forever. You were friends with my husband and sister in law through the department. I’d never made a guy BFF outside of my own brothers, but you managed to make it so deeply into the core of my heart, that you became my brother. I don’t remember when you started calling me sis. At some point our family only felt complete when you were with us. I don’t remember when the kids started to tell their teachers and friends that you were their uncle. You became an irreplaceable part of us. You were a son, a brother, an uncle, and a friend. We loved you and you loved us. Thank you for giving us the best of you. Thank you for spending years with us. You gifted our family with your time, your courage, your sense of humor, your laugh, your love, and your trust. You couldn’t have given us anything better than that.
Do you remember when mom Moser made candied bacon for your birthday? When you bought 5yr old Alli that Seattle hat after she cut off her bangs at the root? I don’t think she took that hat off her head for 6 months. Do you remember when you dove off that little waterfall at Mooney Falls and caught Aidan and hurt your ribs so bad? Do you remember when Aaron made that hilarious yell sound on the ride at Knotts Berry Farm? You guys laughed about that for months. Do you remember all of the many satellite phone calls on your deployment? Do you remember when Aaron and I talked to you for four hours right before you left on that awful mission? I am so so sorry about what you endured. No human being should ever experience those things. Do you remember how you rushed to the hospital the day Aidan had the emergency appendectomy and Aaron couldn’t get there because he had been in a shooting? Thank you for being there for us. You went into protective uncle mode and told the nurse Aidan was in too much pain and she needed to get him something for the pain. Do you remember driving me to Walgreens to get my medicine after my surgery? Do you remember when you called us in Maui a year ago and how good that talk was? Remember how glad the kids were to hear from you? Do you remember I told you we would never stop loving you? Do you remember all of the Jelly Belly Beans we ate together over the years? I will never be able to see them without thinking of you. I will remember you every time I see the red scarf you got me for Christmas, that little angel in the blue gown you bought me, or the space needle lego set sitting on Alex’s shelf. Every slate grey truck makes me think of the one you drove. The smell of bubble gum reminds me of riding in your truck. The smell of the Diesel cologne you gave Aidan reminds us of your hugs, and your Seattle mug is still at my parents house. It will always be yours. You are a part of us.
I will remember you. I will remember how fiercely protective you were of the people you loved. I won’t forget the courage you lived. I won’t forget the pain you carried, the scars you endured, and the burdens you bore to preserve our freedom. You volunteered to put yourself in the crosshairs for the sake of others. I will remember how generous you were. I will remember how stoic and stealthy you could be and I will also remember how you dissolved into laughter every time one of the kids passed gas or said something funny. I will remember the fears and the nightmares you confided, and I will also remember the ones I saw you carry that you would never speak of. I remember the things that made you fragile and I remember your strengths. I love your spirit and your precious soul. I will remember your voice and your laugh, your quiet wit, and the look of contentment that washed over your face when we were all together just enjoying each other’s company. I will remember you brother. We all will.
My heart aches now. I’ve been thinking over and over about that morning years ago, at 4am when I felt you get shot half a world away in Riyadh. I was in Phoenix and you were in Saudi Arabia, but in that moment God connected us and I knew that God had jolted me awake with that pain in my chest and the sound of that shot and I knew it was you. I am still in awe that actually happened. Thank you for sending me the picture of the hole in the chest of your body armor.
I will treasure the proof of that miracle always. For weeks I’d worried something would happen to you on that deployment. Strangely enough, that miraculous experience, showed me that God knew everything about you. He loved you even more than I did, and He brought you home safe after that deployment. It’s hard to believe that you are really gone from this planet. The reality of your passing is a difficult thing to process. You were way too young and this is not the way I’d hoped it would be. Now a veil exists between our worlds again. It’s ironic that both of these experiences have left me with such an ache in my chest for you, but I know that God knows everything about you. He loves you even more than we can, and He knows everything you ever experienced. Everything in me hopes that God brought you home safe. Even now in knowing how it all would unfold, and how we would lose you; we all would choose to do it all over again. Not one moment was wasted in loving you. You weren’t perfect and neither were we. That’s what love is. We loved you anyway. Thank you for loving us anyway. I hope if you remember anything of us, you will remember the last thing I told you. We will always love you and nothing will never change that.
8 thoughts on “Brandall Selestewa February 26, 1979 – January 21, 2021”
I’m sorry you lost your BFF 😦 The tribute you wrote was beautiful. RIP.
Thank you. It’s been difficult.
What a sweet story.
Thank you for sharing it and may God richly bless you and your family.
Remember, your friend is waiting for you to make the trip to Heaven one day.
Dave Warwick jglm life team leader
Thank you. God bless you also.
You described Brandall to a T. He was also a big part of our family, The Steel’s, and we knew he was family to us shortly after my Brother introduced him to our family. It just seemed natural that he was incorporated into our clan. He was fond of our sisters and did what he could to make them feel comfortable and safe. I hope you and your family are doing well and thank you for writing this.
Brandall absolutely adored all of you. He talked about you guys and told us how much you meant to him. He called you his family also. I’m so sorry. I know how hard it is for us to have lost him and I’m sure you are all feeling the same heartache. I’m sending lots of hugs and love to your whole family.
This was an incredibly well written and sincere tribute. First of all, I am so very sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Brandall, but judging from what I’ve just read and the video attached, I would have been honored to meet him. Having someone care as much as you obviously cared for him, speaks volumes for the type of Man he was. I can see in his pics that he carried heavy burdens on his shoulders and in his heart. I had the displeasure of having to do an investigation into the passing of one of my Soldiers who died of ethanol poisoning. He was burdened as well, and was also a Hero among men. I don’t know why I was randomly drawn to your page, other than God works in mysterious ways and although I contemplated not commenting, I felt I needed to. I’m a veteran, I’ve been hospitalized multiple times for PTSD/MDD/suicidal ideation and I’m currently sober working on 7 months. Brandall’s story hit me in the heart. I’m glad he had you and your family in his life while he was here, and I’m sure he cherished ya’ll too. He’s still looking out for you and yours from Heaven. I hope you take some comfort in that. God bless you, and God bless Brandall Selestewa.
Thank you so much Russ. Your comment means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your service. The amount you guys have to endure is unfathomable at times. Hang in there.