Remembering Brian Weitenauer – Hometown View
It is every parent’s worst nightmare…a phone call in the middle of the night. In those seconds before you answer it your thoughts turn to your children and where they are and your mind races with imagination.
More often than not when you answer the phone it’s a wrong number or a hang-up. By then your heart is racing and it may take some time before you can even lie down but the good news is that it was nothing.
One can only imagine what was going through the minds of Dianne and John Weithenauer when the phone rang in their Toms River home early Easter Sunday morning. How they now wish it was simply a wrong number that disturbed their sleep.
Unfortunately on the other end was someone in Morgantown, West Virginia with the news that their 19-year old son Brian had fallen to his death. A sophomore at WVU, Weithenauer apparently fell from a wooden platform at an apartment building above a nightclub and died a short time later at an area hospital.
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The circumstances are irrelevant at this time because no matter what it does not take away the pain shared by family and friends, including my daughter Alex. She was just getting ready for Easter Sunday mass to start on the campus of Penn State University when she received the call and horrific news about her fellow Toms River South classmate and close friend.
Like kids do today they stayed in touch through Facebook and text messages and had only talked a few days earlier and were looking forward to seeing one another in just a few short weeks when school ended. Alex will get to see Brian a bit earlier because she is coming home to attend the viewing and funeral…something unimaginable until this week.
One of his close friends Tyler Eddy shared with me in an email that Brian was very ambitious and had decided to major in accounting as he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and have a firm of his own one day. He added that Brian was one of the most well-liked kids in high school, known for his sense of humor, smile and love of music. He played football in high school and along with the rest of his family was a big Eagles fan and was really happy at West Virginia, where he was in a fraternity and full of school spirit and pride.
The pain and agony being felt by Brian’s friends is nothing like that of his family. All the dreams of college graduation, working in the accounting field, getting married and starting his own family are suddenly gone. Now they have to count on memories and pictures of a life ended way too soon. The best thing about young people is they think they’re indestructible…..the worst thing about young people is we find out the hard way they are not.