Our Mission

On May 12, 2012 Austin Brashears finished what is one of the most epic stories of all time: his life story. He lived colorfully and beautifully during his 21 years and painted pictures all over the world of his kindness, generosity, and positive spirit. We have decided to begin the stage of moving forward to embark on a grand adventure to create new memories with Austin every day. It can be something as little as trying a new flavor of coffee or going underwater go-cart racing in his honor. We invite you to play with us, laugh with us, and take risks with us. We encourage you to put your Austin foot forward and begin to live with Austin and his energetic spirit as your guide.

He needs our help to finish his epic adventure.

We’ll be posting our adventures here for you to read and hopefully be inspired by, but we want to hear from you too! When you do something amazing and incredible or just a little something you know that Austin would LOVE or appreciate, throw on your Austin merch (v-neck, tank, or bracelet) and take a picture! Write up a post and email it to us at doitforaustin@gmail.com and we’ll share it with everyone!

Have a great Austin Adventure Day,

Sage, Brittany, Cole, & Shannon

The Family

Friday, May 24, 2013

Out of the city, into the hills


Alright readers: something that I've struggled with and discussed with other Austin-lovers is finding an adventure Austin-worthy to blog about. After a much needed dinner and discussion with Tom and Julie, they helped me realize that the blog doesn't need to be my most epic shenanigans (because those probably shouldn't be shared here), but anything that I would have shared with Austin or makes me think of him. Which, I'm sure most of you agree, would be a lot of things...
Which brings me to this entry. March 12th came around and Julia texted me asking if I wanted to do an Austin inspired hang out. The answer to that question is always yes. And what more cliche of an Austin adventure is there than a sunset hike? I realize that this is probably overdone, but as stated, Julia and I decided that it's not the spectacle of the event, but the fact that we're brought together by him and his spirit.
Our final destination is Blue Hills Reservation. We meet on the T and train on down to Ashmont. Next step, catch a bus to the reservation. This is where Austin throws his first curve ball (think the choppy waves of the paddle out, but less dangerous)...Julia wants to save 6 minutes by taking Bus 12 instead of 240 since it takes the same route. We hop on and as we near the reservation we realize no one has gotten off. Strange. But we are kinda in the middle of nowhere, so we ignorantly press the 'Stop Request' button. 5 minutes later, we've now passed the reservation and no one has beaten an eyelash. Then Julia spots a little crumpled up sign on the front of the bus that reads something along the lines of "THIS BUS DOES NOT STOP UNTIL (someplace much further than we wanted t go) Take 240 for all intermediate stops"....Sooooo, standing and packed like sardines, we laugh it off and have a conversation with a 3 year old African American girl about her best friends and how we can't have her juice. After continuing half an hour out of the way and catching the 240 back after it's passed us and looped around, we finally arrive back at the reservation. Good thing we left early...
If there is one thing I loved about Austin (yes, just one....sarcasm), it was our mutual love for spontaneity. With half a map of the reservation and no plan, we decide to just wing it, walk into the wilderness, and let our Pocahontas-like instincts take over. The trails were cool. We would mark our crossroads with makeshift stick arrows so we knew where we came from as we climbed along. We had two requirements: climb high, and see water. Both of which were accomplished. At what was arguably the highest point, Julia spotted the Boston skyline in the distance. Super cool. Like being in two places at once. We continued on to a reservoir and then circled back, stopping to sit on a rock and chat as the sun set. I think Austin liked hikes because it's a mix of two awesome things: Natural life and a potentially awkward extended amount of time with someone in which you are inevitably about to have a "life chat". If you haven't had a life chat (particularly with Julia in my case), you must. It is the most effective way to get to know someone and usually revolves around both deep and probing questions and shallow, gossipy hook ups. What could be better?
The sun sets and we decide it's time to go. Austin curve ball number 2: we get about a quarter mile from where we stopped on the rocks and the trail opens up into this huge meadow-type deal with a perfect view of the city. whoops. This reminds me of the time Austin and I pulled an all-nighter at Jeff's house to watch the sunrise from the roof, just for the horizon to be covered by trees, houses and clouds. So close. Thanks for rubbing it in...
To top off a wonderful evening, we get to the bus stop and, because obviously we didn't plan anything, we find out that the next bus doesn't come for another hour...curve ball number 3. Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere? So, we walk along the bus line in pitch blackness towards home, debating hitch hiking, using mother nature's toilet (Julia must have the biggest bladder because at this point Ive had to pop a squat twice. TMI?), and sharing beloved Austin stories. 7 hours later, we finally make it home. Full day. Which is always a great day.

So yeah, Mariah summed it all up quite well! Great day with a great person. More summer shenanigans to come! All I have to add is what I wrote in my journal at the end of that day: "Quality adventure today with Mariah! We set out looking to have an 'Austin adventure' and upon arriving home, I wondered if we met our goal. Then I realized that an Austin adventure is anything that entails enjoying the company of someone you care about and being fully present doing whatever you're doing. So today definitely counts. I want to be who is capable of making any day an adventure, certainly something that can be said of Austin."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Wheel

For those of you who don't know me, I am Brittany and Allison's mom. Prior to moving to Bellingham, Washington in 2010, we lived in Huntington Beach, California for over 20 years. One of the great joys of living there was watching our girls grow up with such wonderful friends. During high school Austin was a frequent presence in our home. My memories of him are ones filled with joy and laughter. I always knew when Austin had been there because he took great delight in unscrewing the bedknobs off of Brittany's bed and hiding them in imaginative places all over our house. It often took us days to locate them. If Brittany's bed had the bedknobs missing I knew Austin had been there! Like everyone who knew him, he is always in my thoughts and my heart. I am happy that the last time I saw him was when he came with Brittany to our home in Bellingham. He was a joyous presence here as he always was in HB.

Austin was very much in my thoughts last week as my husband and I traveled to the east coast. Along with having a wonderful visit with Allison and Jeremy in New York City, we also traveled to Boston. As we walked in the city I could feel Austin there. His spirit was with us as we traveled in this city that he loved. We came back to Bellingham the day before Mother's Day and of course the first anniversary of the loss of Austin.

Brittany and I drove down to Seattle on Mother's Day. We had a great day of shopping, eating delicious chowder and buying bunches of flowers at Pike Place Market. Last June a 175 foot ferris wheel called "The Great Wheel" was built at pier 57 at the Seattle waterfront. The wheel extends 40 feet out over the water and on a clear day you can see the city skyline including the Space Needle, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier and beautiful Puget Sound. I have been trying to get Brittany to go with me since it was built. I am definitely not the most adventurous person in the world, but I thought this was something that I could actually do! Well, we did it on May 12 and the view was amazing. I marveled at how blessed I was to have been able to stand on both coasts in the span of a week. To look at Boston harbor and think of Austin there. Then to look down from The Great Wheel at Puget Sound and remember this day one year ago. As we were leaving Brittany said to me, "a little better than our shopping trip last year, huh?", recalling our vain attempt to mark Mother's Day on that horrible weekend one year ago.

She was absolutely right. While our hearts still ache, this is exactly where Austin would want us to be, high atop Puget Sound taking in the view and "doing it for the story". It was "a little better than last year". And I pray for all of you who loved Austin, that you can find joy in each day and that gradually it will get "a little better".

-- Genie Koenker