Today is the birthday of an accomplished man. Today is the day he would have been 28. Today is the day that his five year old son would have helped him celebrate his birthday by blowing out candles on his cake.
My brother, Barry D. Scott, Jr. lived a lifetime in just a few short years.
He was a soldier, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and Phoenix police officer.
He was the brother I lost too soon. You see we were just getting to know each other and creating memories together.
My mom and dad divorced when I was just six. My dad went on to create a new family, as did my mom. I didn’t know much about my dad’s new family until much later in life. I never saw my dad growing up and didn’t put much thought into it. I made a connection with my dad only after becoming a mother at wife at the age of 18. My dad and his wife and three kids came to my daughter’s first birthday party. I didn’t connect with my siblings at the time because they were young and I was caught up in being a mother.
Another year went by and an opportunity for a job in Arizona came up. My dad was going to help my husband and I get into a pretty big company. Everything was just right for the move. We made the move and even lived with my new found family for about four months. I got to spend some time with my brother and sisters.
The years went by and we lost that initial connection. My dad wasn’t who I thought he was and I didn’t put much more thought into getting to know my siblings. They were basically victims in my relationship with my dad.
Finally in 2007, I heard from the step sister in-law (is that even a real thing). She wanted to have a gathering at her house and invite my brother and his new wife and of course, my family. I was looking forward to this. We met up for a bbq and talked for hours. It was literally history in the making. That was May of 2007 and I was so very happy to have my sisters and my brothers family in my life.
The next big thing was that my brother and his wife, Amber,were having their first son in August of 2008. It was amazing to be a part of such a beautiful blessing. Kyler James Scott was born on August 6th and boy was his daddy proud. He was a perfect baby boy and I was so happy for my brother and Amber.
In addition to being a new husband and father, my brother was a Phoenix police officer. This was something that he had wanted to do since returning from Afghanistan.
He was participating in a charity boxing match called Guns and Hoses. The police fought against firefighters and the money benefited the 100 Club of Arizona. Nothing but good could come from this!
I remember being super excited and anxious to see him box. My skinny little brother was going to boxing a Chandler firefighter. It was going to be so cool. My dad, his wife, my step brother, my boyfriend, and my sister in-law were all there. Of course we were passing a five week old Kyler between us.
There were so many people there! The music was loud and the lights were bright. We all took a minute to visit Barry before the fight. We met him at the barrier. He was definitely nervous and we could tell by the way he as pacing and talking. The smile on his face was as big as the moon. I gave him a hug and wished him luck.
The fight was way too quick. Barry took a shot to the face and stumbled. He recovered and was back in the fight. He got a couple of shots in but nothing substantial. The firefighter took another good shot and knocked him down. Barry got up though. He was still in it. Things took a turn pretty quick. The next shot from his opponent was a square shot to his face. Barry went down again. He got back up but by then the fight was called in favor of the firefighter. We were still proud of our police officer. He put up a good fight.
The family went to visit him at the barrier to congratulate him. He seemed a little off but we figured it was because he just got done boxing. He was smiling and hugging all of us. I remember Amber sticking behind after we all went back to our seats. She stayed there for a bit to check on him privately. She came back and let us know he was fine.
I saw an ambulance being backed up to the barriers. Amber handed Kyler over to me and ran over to the barrier. They were doing CPR on Barry. He was not responding. They loaded him into the ambulance. We all met up at the hospital.
Barry had to have emergency brain surgery. He wasn’t waking up because there was too much swelling. He suffered blunt force trauma to his head. It turns out he had suffered a concussion just the day before while practicing for the match. He had a headache before the match but didn’t attribute it to a concussion. The punches that he suffered the night of the fight were fatal.
My sister in-law didn’t have to decide when to take him off life support. That decision was made for her by Barry. He went completely brain dead. On September 16, 2008, Barry Scott Jr.’s soul joined the ranks of numerous others. He will never be forgotten.
Thankfully my sister in-law was able to save and enhance the lives of others by donating his organs. He will live on in others.
Kyler is a thriving five year old who loves to play outside. Amber is newly engaged and going to school. We have a gathering at Barry’s grave for every birthday and the anniversary of his death. I feel him with me from time to time.
Barry, I didn’t get to know you that well but I cherish the time I did have with you. I see you in your son every time he is in my presence. You were a great man in such a short amount of time. I love you and miss you dearly. Happy Birthday brother.