Sunday, August 12, 2007

Real life (and death) interrupts our fun…

It’s with a heavy heart that I report that a friend and former animation student of mine passed away last Thursday. Micah Eberhard, a young fellow of 20 years in age, died from massive head trauma following an automobile accident. Micah’s family live here in Cuiaba’ Brazil. His dad is a missionary who is working to translate the Bible into a native language for a small tribe in remote western Brazil. Micah grew up a missionary kid but always had a love of art. He attended SCAD in Savannah as an animation student for his freshman year, but left the school due to running short on finances. (Missionaries don’t make a lot of money, in case you didn’t know). Micah’s parents- good friends and sweet generous people- asked if I’d be willing to teach Micah some animation while he came back home to live and sort things out. I agreed and for the next 6 months or so I took time to train Micah in various skills, especially animation. He was one of those kids who had a real knack for motion and performance.

Earlier this summer Micah moved back to the U.S. to be near his fiancee’. He was living and working near her family in northern Ohio when last Tuesday he was hit at high velocity by another car at an intersection. He was Mercy flighted to a hospital in Columbus where he was in a coma. He lived another two days- just long enough for his parents to arrive at his bedside from Brazil. They had just visited him 2 weeks ago. Endings can come suddenly like that.

Stuff like this never ceases to remind me how silly alot of this animation business really is. I love animation, it’s my favorite unimportant thing in life. But I must continually remind myself- it’s not an important thing in life. As sobering as moments like these are I am thankful for the recalibrating affect they have on me. Someday we’re all going to meet the end of our path, whether it happens suddenly in our youth or unsurprisingly in our grey headed years. I believe our true legacy among those we leave behind will not be defined by how great our art was, but by how we treated each other. We’ll be judged on another criteria altogether. Micah put his faith in Jesus Christ as his salvation. He’s home and I look forward to seeing him again someday- along with many other friends who have gone on before me. A lot of folks don’t like to hear expressions of faith in public. That’s fine. Send me an angry email if you feel you must instruct me about how foolish I am to believe what I believe or how inappropriate it is to be so public with my faith. I need the entertainment. But I’m not ashamed of my faith in Jesus and I’m not about to keep it in a box, especially during times like these.

Those of you so inclined to do so, please pray for Micah’s family and his fiancee’. And if you’re wondering if there’s something you can do to help, actually there is. This surprise event will no doubt put a massive strain on Micah’s family’s finances. As I mentioned before missionaries don’t make a ton of money. If you want to lend a financial hand to help offset some of the medical, travel and funeral expenses send me an email via the contact form here on my site. I can put you in touch with a not-for-profit organization that can accept your donations on behalf of Micah’s family. I can personally guarantee that 100% of what you give will make its way to the family.

And remember, be good to each other.

No comments: