Jan 13, 2009

Memories are Funny Things.

I find it funny, the things that I remember, and the things I forget.
It doesn't really make sense.

Yes, there are the little things.
Forgetting where I put my keys.
Forgetting that I scheduled a doctors appointment three weeks ago for this morning.
Forgetting to pick up a gallon of milk on my way home.
Forgetting to get something out of the freezer for dinner that night.
The little things.

But there are big things that , over time I have forgotten.
I don't remember the first time I drove a car.
I don't remember the first time I kissed a boy.
I don't remember the first time I flew in an airplane.
I don't remember the details of my first broken heart.
I don't remember what my father said to me the night he moved out of our house.
I don't remember the last words spoken to my father many years later.
I don't remember the name of my best friend in elementary school.

But there are many seemingly insignificant little details that are stuck in my mind as if it happened yesterday.

Things from 23 years ago today.

I remember my big brother, Dan, leaving for his nightly walk and saying. "I'll be back later" then popping his head back in the door and jokingly saying..."Or.. maybe I won't.".

I remember the exact words I used when I called my friend Tara, "I don't know if you pray or not, but if you do, please pray for Dan. He was just hit by a car."

I remember the blue maternity dress covered with little yellow & pink flowers that my youth pastors wife, Ms. Renee, wore when she came to stay with me at my house.

I remember that it was exactly 2:08am when my grandmother finally called with an update from the hospital.

I remember the cassette tape that was still in his Walkman and the exact words my mother said to me when I excitedly told her that it was not that broken because the radio still worked. She said... "But Honey, Dan is."

I remember the burgundy sweater that I was wearing when my mother and grandparents returned from the hospital to tell me that Dan was gone.

I remember the first casserole that Mrs. Kearney brought over... it was chicken and noodles with carrots that were too big and too mushy.

I remember the beautiful scent of the three perfect purple Hyacinths that my school sent to me when they heard the news.

I remember the overpowering cologne that the man from the funeral home wore.

I remember sitting in his room and realizing that it smelled like him.

I remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw my grandfather cry for the first time in my life.

I remember the laughter though the tears when we remembered that he was buried wearing his new watch, and that it would beep every day for the next 12 years at noon and may freak some unsuspecting cemetery maintenance man out.

I remember how blue his eyes were.

I remember thinking he was the strongest and smartest big brother in the world.

I remember his mischievous grin and the twinkle in his eye.

I remember our long walks, car rides, and conversations.

There are still BIG things I do NOT remember.

I can Not remember his voice.

I can not remember the last words spoken between us.

I can not remember the last comforting hug.

I can not remember the last "I love you."

I can not remember our last fight.

I can not remember the last cross words.

Isn't it funny? The things that "stick" and the things that don't?

23 years ago my life changed forever.

I am lucky that I was raised with such a great big brother.
But my heart aches every day because my children will never know what a wonderful man they would have had for an uncle.

It's just so strange how so many details of that time are crystal clear and how so many of them seem just out of my reach.

The mind is a very funny thing.

I remember...

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27 amazing comments. Talk To Me!!:

Anonymous said...

This post mde me cry. He looked like such a wonderful person. Even after all of these years I can only imagine the hurt you still feel. {{HUGS}} -Rose

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you from this stranger. Know that your stories to your children do make a difference. Tell my kids stories about their Great Great Grandma and BOTH of them swear they remember her and how she loved them :-) With memories like you shared - his specialness and goodness continue to have an impact :-)

Bethany said...

He was wonderful. He was the perfect older brother, even if he was 13 years older than me.

I don't remember his voice either, here's my biggest memory: roughhousing with him, taking it too far - "Bethany! That's ENOUGH!", getting locked out of his room, and wailing in the hallway.

I also remember the day we took that photo. I was standing at his side, hoping that if I stood close enough the camera would include me, even though I was only as high as his hip. And then his arms reaching down for me so we could take my favorite photo of all time... I'll post it later today.

*hugs her sis from Houston*
- Bethany

Tatersmama said...

Ahh honey, this post had me bawling my eyes out and I wish I could give you a hug right now.
Keep telling those stories and sharing your memories with your children... because like anonymous said, his specialness will continue to linger in their hearts.

My son takes his 3 little guys when he tends the graves of his brother and sister ( my daughter and youngest son) and those little boys were telling ME stories about their Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jake last year.
It did my heart good.

PurpleGreenPops.com said...

That was a great tribute to your brother. Extremely good.

I remember what my wife said when I found out my father had died of cancer;

"Death is just a part of life."

As long as we live in a fallen world, this will unfortunately always be true.

God bless.

Sab said...

I cried reading that. How special he must have been! I agree with Anonymous as well... he will live on through your stories of him.

I agree... it is strange how the mind works.

Hugs to you!

Mary Moore said...

Wow. That was a wonderful post. And so very true. It's the little things that matter.

Jenn said...

I'm bawling that was very sweet , I'm a big cry baby when pregnant ! He was a cutie and I'm glad you had a brother that you loved and that loved you !

Cindy said...

A heart wrenching post, Dana. We don't 'know' each other, but I stop by almost everyday. You had a wonderful brother, and I'm sorry you had to lose him.

On The Verge said...

What a beautiful and beautifully written tribute to your brother. I am so sorry for your loss.

Zen Ventures said...

The pain will vanish and forgotten but the heart will never forget the loss. I hear ya on this one. Bless your heart...

Zen Ventures
Toasty Brown

Deanna said...

What a beautiful tribute to your brother. He was such a cutie. Sending you BIG HUGS today!

Anonymous said...

I do understand, Dana. I just lost my husband of 39 years on New Years Eve. I feel your pain with my own. They say time heals all wounds, but I am not so sure of that. It looks like you had a wonderful brother. He is not forgotten, nor will be my husband.I read your blog a lot, but do not comment. God bless you . Doris

Shelby said...

Oh, Dana. I know I'm a day late (always, it seems!) but please know that I'm thinking of you and your family and saying prayers and sending hugs. For all of the minutes that all of your readers read your post, your brother was alive again. I'm sure you know that as long as you tell stories of him to your children -- and one day to their children -- and as long as that love still burns brightly, he lives.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to your brother. Hugs. Margie

erinbeth said...

it's strange the words that stick, and the smells that still linger. and even how little things will still trigger a memory so deeply buried that you'd forgotten about it until just that moment.
it's a beautiful day to remember and to celebrate and to hug those still around you. and of course, to make more memories. thank you for reminding us...

Robin said...

What a tribute to your brother. I am sure he is looking down on you smiling.

Kelly @ Wisdom Begun said...

How this made me cry. Can I send you cyber hugs?

How I must cherish EVERY moment with those I love. Can I remember that??

Sarcasta-Mom said...

So touching. Even 23 years later you must feel his loss. *hugs*

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow, Dana. What a fabulous post.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dana, How heart-wrenching!
It isn't often that someone can convey the true feelings of the heart like you have just done.
I am sorry for your loss, and almost jealous of the love you have gotten to experience for your brother.
There are few things in life that special.

God Bless.


Anonymous said...

I am sitting here sobbing. Beautiful post!


Anonymous said...

Very touching post.
Thank you for sharing!


Cricket said...

Such a powerful post...I'm so sorry for your family's loss. The mind does work in some astonishing and weird ways.

fiveboysmom said...

Your family is in my prayers as you remember your brother in such a touching way.

Anonymous said...

My name is Amanda Chase...my email is mandi_lin546527@hotmail.com

I could not stop crying when I read this. I can relate to you in so many ways here. When I was 6 years old my mother died in a car accident. It has been almost 17years and I remember some of the craziest things about her....I remember she use to say "Bargin...Bargin..Bargin." Whenever we passed a good deal she couldn't pass up. I remember how she use to sneak nips of Copenhagen Chewing tobacoo and hoped no one saw her, but I did : ) I remember her smell she wore Lady Stetson perfume...I can still smell it when I think of her. I remember her belt buckle with two twin hearts side by side and how after she passed away my grandmother bought me one in a child size...I still have it. I remember having her as an imaginary friend in school and my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Phillips telling me "Amanda your mother is not here...she is not sitting in that chair...she is dead." I cried and cried and had to be escorted to the nurses station. I can't remember her smile I can't remember her voice...I can't remember exactly the way she looked I have to look at pictures or ask people who knew her.

This post ment so much to me...I am so thankful I found it. Thank You and may the lord bless you and your family.

James said...

Really what a funny things. I am pleasure to read this post.

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