by Logan Gilman

This past week has been a tough one for many students at PCM, including me. We lost a good friend named Brandon Rozendaal.
As I was standing in line at his visitation, I saw an old baseball the family had put on the table. Brandon had a passion for the game of baseball. He went to Pella Christian his entire life but played baseball in Monroe, and that’s how I got to know him.
I picked the ball up off the table, and it read, “Lynnville Tournament. Player of the Game. Championship Game.” As I read this, the words brought tears to my eyes, but as I remembered the times we spent together, it brought a smile to my face.
A smile. When I think about Brandon, a smile is the first thing I think of. I was lucky enough to have played baseball with Brandon from the ages of 10-12. When I look back at this time I spent with him, I can’t think of a time when he wasn’t smiling. He was always such a happy person, and he brought a smile to anyone who was blessed enough to be around him.
I remember Brandon being a great teammate on the baseball diamond. If we were to make a mistake on the field, some teammates might get upset with us, but not Brandon. Brandon was always there to meet you with a smile and a pat on the back to let us know that it’s no big deal.
If I could go back, I would make sure I told Brandon how much his friendship meant to me. I also would have stayed in touch more throughout the years after baseball.
The amount of people at Brandon’s visitation and funeral showed how much he was loved and cared for. And that, while his life may not have been long, it was a life of meaning. His life was one that touched and changed people’s lives for the better and will continue to.
If you’re reading this column and you didn’t know Brandon, then it might not have meant very much to you up to this point. But right now is when I’m talking to you. Set down the paper and sit back and think about all the people in your life. Think about how much each one means to you, and make sure they know it. Make sure you appreciate every person and every thing in your life, because tomorrow is never promised.
If you knew Brandon, then I want you to think about him right now and smile. Smile just like Brandon would have. For right now, try not to think about how his life was cut short and what he could have been. Try to think about what he was and the incredible life he lived. Think about all the memories you had with him, and with your loved ones, and cherish them forever.