The Pistol Star
“He’s gone”, these words can mean all kinds of things to billions of different people, but when spoken to me on the night of December 7th, 2005, they only had one meaning, one meaning to one simple phrase that consists of two simple words that completely, single-handedly destroyed my picture-perfect life. The power of these two words were unbelievable, they crushed my heart, destroyed my faith, and broke any hope for love in my life. I could never trust anyone for as long as I live on this planet. Two simple words: “he’s gone”, Spoken to me with such ease they cut me like strong, powerful sharp blades and ripped my soul ’til it bled and died. “He’s gone” took every tear in my little ten-year old body and poured them into an endless stream of impeccable pain and loss. “He’s gone” continues to replay over and over in my head as I search for an answer in this terrible never ending nightmare of a life. “He’s gone” happened on an ordinary yet unforgettable December day, like any other, but it tore and twisted my life ’til there was nothing left but an empty hole in a little girl’s heart that could never be filled. He’s gone?
The powerful stench of the Richmond Mental Hospital was not like any regular hospital, it was much worse than that. It didn’t look like a hospital, it smelled like one and without a doubt, people were sick. It wasn’t the same kind of sick that I was familiar with. These patients weren’t cut, bleeding, injured, or broken… where I could see. Two weeks had passed without seeing my dad, ever since that horrific night, on October 21st, 2005. I had so many questions but my mom said to act normal, so we wouldn’t upset my dad. We traveled through the hospital’s empty rooms until my dad’s face awoke out of the dark, to greet the life he’d left behind. His face appeared before me, it was exactly how I remembered only… this wasn’t my dad, not at all. No, my dad was always smiling, joyful, funny, and kind. He was the perfect dad that every little girl dreamed of having. The man that sat before me was dead. He was lost, without hope, very much alive and breathing, but he was dead. It was as if his soul had been taken from him and now he was left with a lifeless corpse. The doctors all explained as clearly as they possibly could that my dad was sick, only it was a kind of sick that you couldn’t see with your eyes and a sick that couldn’t be cured with a band-aid or some loving care from your mom. He was diagnosed with clinical depression, these words meant nothing to a ten-year old who’s only worries in life were making her father proud or finishing homework on time, it was never ‘if I’d even have a dad to make proud?’.The more the doctor explained, the more he began to make sense. He also explained what happened before dad left, the night he was “taken” by his depression.
Dad was gone all day. We didn’t know where he went and this wasn’t like him at all. In fact, it was so unlike him that it terrified us to think about what could be happening. My mom had a few ideas. She checked his credit card for some trace on my dad’s whereabouts. We came to find out that on, October 21st, dad drove to South Carolina (approximately two hours from our Georgia home) and purchased a pistol. I could tell from the overwhelming fear in my mom’s eyes as she stormed out of the office that it wasn’t good. We’d never needed a reason to call the police before that night.
In a matter of minutes, my mom had the police in South Carolina looking for my dad; they located him in a hotel room near Calhoun Falls, a quiet town where he must’ve strategically decided to escape to. I curled up into my parents’ bed with my sister and brother as the emergency babysitter waited downstairs for my mom and dad to return. I fell asleep and dreamt of the days that my dad and I would practice basketball together. We spent hours and hours shooting hoops, working on dribbling, passing, and defense. As the coach of every basketball, soccer, and softball team I was involved with throughout my childhood, my dad absolutely loved playing sports. For every single point I scored, I could count on him being on the sidelines cheering me on. After a successful win, my dad and I would drive to the diner and enjoy a victory chocolate shake. He would look at me and say “throw me the ball and watch what I do with it!” with a huge grin on his face. I dreamt that those days would never end, that he’d be here again and by my side forever. I dreamt of running to a place where there was no pain, no loss, no terrifying thoughts that he wouldn’t return, no fear, and definitely no crying. In a place like this, I’d never have to worry about my life breaking apart and my ground being pulled out from beneath my stable, trusting feet. I dreamt of looking into his eyes again, knowing he’d be okay. I dreamt of a world where there was no sickness, or a kind of “sick” that you couldn’t see, no depression, and no hurt. I dreamt of sitting on the wide open countryside, looking into the dark, sad, starry night.
I dreamt of the night that my dad and I drove everywhere and anywhere until we ended up in a place in the middle of nowhere. We looked up into the sky and I glanced up at him, he was deep in thought about something and strangely enough, I knew exactly what he was thinking. Looking up at the stars, I thought about where they came from, where we came from, and where we all went when we left. “What do you think happens… when you die?” I said.
“What do you mean?” he replied.
“Well I like to think we become the stars” I said as we both starred aimlessly into the night sky, “As soon as we die we go up into the sky for all the people who ever loved us to look up at and think about and remember”.
“When I’m gone, you just look up at the sky and I promise I will be there, looking down at you smiling. I’ll be there shining brighter than any star in the sky, just for you”… He said smiling.
I woke up in my dad’s arms as he gently placed me onto my bed and without a single word, he walked out of my room and shut the door, shutting me out of his life in a moment where I wanted nothing more than to be in it. When I wanted nothing but answers, he couldn’t even hear my angry cries for help and to hear him say, “I’ll be here forever and always baby girl”, like he always told me. That night died along with all hope that my dad was fine when the next day came along and he was checked into the hospital. I didn’t know what made him run away, what made him buy that gun, or why he was sick but I hoped and prayed for him to get better soon so I could have my dad back. At this time in my life, I wanted nothing more than to have him with me forever and always, just like he promised.
Two months without having my dad around tore me apart. It made me realize how much he truly meant to me and how much I depend on him. Life without him here is like walking into a dark room not knowing where to go, what to think, or how I got there. You don’t know where to turn or what to do. Life without my dad is like waking up from a nightmare and realizing that everything you just dreamt up in your mind was real. Without him here, I had no hope, no dreams, no happiness or joy, no laughter or smiling; it was living without the life. After two months that felt like a dark twisted trick God was playing, my dad returned.
The return of my dad wasn’t a return at all. He came back but he wasn’t the same. He wasn’t getting any better in fact… in the hospital, he got much worse. Depression had taken him completely and killed the man we all loved and missed; it forced him to live in the pain of dying over and over again. This dark disease that I didn’t know anything about was killing my dad. He was a good person, he didn’t deserve to die. I’d never known anyone to die. I never saw anyone’s life end but sometimes I thought about what it would be like to lose someone. The only thing I could think of was having an arm taken off your body, you’d always feel like it was still there but when you really needed it most, it wouldn’t be there at all and would never come back. When I really needed my dad he was always there, no matter what it was, I could always just look up at him and see the love behind his eyes. Now that he was sick, when I looked up into his eyes all I saw was death. I saw the death of every day we ever spent together, every time he promised he’d be here forever, every warm embrace of his never ending hugs, the comfort of knowing I’d always have someone to love me unconditionally, and the death of my father.
Wednesday December 7th, 2005 5:45 pm, police house resident reports 3 gun shots and strange screams coming from 244 west lane, Alpharetta Georgia. Inside an abandoned house, investigators discover a 47-year old man positioned in the living room of the cold hearted abandoned home, drenched completely in blood and holding a pistol. Deceased. At 5:41 pm the man shot at a target he’d drawn on the wall. 5:43, another shot goes off and hits the target perfectly in the center. 5:45, the man shot himself in the chest and fell to the ground to later be discovered at 6:08 pm on Wednesday December 7th, 2005.
Mark Joseph Beausir was a man that proved to be an amazingly successful father of three children. He was a good man and a caring, faithful husband to Amy Beausir. He was CEO of a successful software company in Alpharetta, Georgia. Six feet Six inches, he stood high and close to God. He was a big guy with a heart that could only be compared to the size of his smile. Mark provided well for his family and was always involved in his church and kids’ lives. He attended church every Sunday and was the coach for every team his three children were involved with. Every chance he got, he would show love to the people that mattered the most and even more love to the people that didn’t matter at all. Mark had an enormous family with so much love and even more heart. He was a beautiful person and lived a magnificent, unbelievable life.
Born on August 14th, 1958, died 47 years later on December 7th, 2005, Mark only lived a short time. Forty seven years of pure love, laughs, and time, 24719556 minutes, 1779848640 heart beats, 296438400 breaths, 121 liters of tears, 38352 hours spent on the computer, 46318400 steps walked, 20160 minutes spent kissing, 10000 chocolate bars, 150 pounds of sugar eaten, and… for this particular person, 4 broken hearts plus one broken promise. When we looked back on my dad’s life, he wouldn’t be remembered by any of this. We’d think of him and think of all the love he gave us and how much he touched our lives. The average human is expected to live to be 72 years old. For this human, he missed 25 Christmases, 25 valentines days, 3 sweet-sixteen parties, 2 weddings of girls walking themselves down the aisle, 1 boy growing into a man, the graduation of three very successful college students he helped raise, the winning point scored, the school record being broken for girls’ high jump, 7 stitches and 3 twisted ankles, he missed mending the broken hearts of a sad teenage girl and breaking the face of one disappointing teenage boy, he missed teaching his kids how to drive for the first time, meeting new boyfriends and girlfriends, hating old boyfriends and girlfriends, he missed seeing the first steps of his grandkids and spoiling them rotten, he missed new inside jokes and reflecting back on old ones, he missed seeing his kids grow up and most of all, we missed him.
The average human spends 63 hours a year laughing, Mark was an extraordinary person but he still had 99225 hours left of endless laughs. Mark still had 788923150 seconds of life to live but his life was taken from him by this heart wrenching darkness we called an illness. He left me behind but I know deep in my heart, he is always going to be by my side. I hope that one day I’ll see him again and I like to think he is still watching over me like he said he would.
There are over 100 billion stars in our universe. On December 7th, 2005 a new class of Supergiant Binary stars was discovered. Among these stars, there was one special one. It was the most gigantic, brightest binary star ever to be discovered. Scientists were amazed at this discovery and named it “The Pistol Star”. It had a solar mass of 80-150 and shined brighter than any other star in the sky, a true miracle.
Tuesday December 7th, 2010, it has been five years since my dad died and it still feels like the same wound opening up every day, it feels like only yesterday my dad was taken from me. I lie down in my bed and I dream. I dream about you, the wonderful father that I lost and will forever miss. I dream of a never ending life absent of fear and pain. I dream of days where the sun never stops shining and you’ll be by my side. I dream of the day you and I drove everywhere and anywhere till we ended up in a place called nowhere. Where I looked up into the sky at the shining stars and wished that you’d be here forever. I looked at you and asked what happened when we died. You looked me straight in the eye and said, “When I’m gone, you just look up at the sky and I promise I will be there, looking down at you smiling. I’ll be there shining brighter than any star in the sky, just for you”. The bright and glorious ‘Pistol Star’ still shines to this day, brighter than any other star in our galaxy. It was born on December 7th, 2005… The day you died.