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Posts Tagged ‘brothers’

This has been a tough week for me, facing memories and old emotions, and some medical issues with family members. I didn’t think I had too much to smile about or share for Trent’s Weekly Smile.

Today is the anniversary of my brother’s death. Richard died on this day in 1989. I miss him so much. The anniversary has added to my depression today. I hesitated to post a picture on Facebook earlier, a picture of my brother and me. I think it’s the only picture I have that has both of us in it (other than old group family photos when we were children). I almost destroyed the photo when it was taken because I didn’t like myself in it. I’m glad I didn’t. I came across it at my mother’s house last year and I brought it home with me. I ended up posting it on Facebook, mostly to share with family.

My niece, Richard’s daughter, also posted a picture today, one of her and her kids visiting his graveside today. I mentioned that it made me glad to see that she takes her kids and she replied that they ask to go and even though they were not yet born when he died, they say they miss him. That made me smile. It made me happy that he has not been forgotten.

So that was my smile for the day. Maybe you will smile when I share the photo of Richard and me which was taken around 1976. It’s a camera shot of an old Polaroid so not great quality but maybe you’ll smile anyway.

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Note: This is probably the most difficult post I have ever written. It’s hard for me to go back and reread it so please excuse any typos or grammar errors.

It was November of 1982. I was the happiest I had been in a long time. My son was the source of that happiness. He was nine months old and was the light of my life.

Then the phone rang. It was Friday night, about 10. I didn’t think much of it being late as family often called at the end of the day. I picked it up and won’t ever forget the words. “It’s me, Carlos. I can’t talk but you need to sit down.”  I laughed at the sitting down part then he said it again, “Sit down Little Sister.” I did. I still had no clue but when he asked if I was sitting, I answered that I was, still clueless to what was coming. “David just killed himself. I have to go over there right now. The police and coroner are waiting for me. I have to go. I love you.”

That’s when the bottom fell out of my life.

I fell into depression for the first time in my life. I took care of the baby, kept in touch with family on the phone and I spoke to my brother’s widow on the phone every day. She would call me each day at the time my brother used to call her on his morning break from work. That was the time they got to talk about the kids and their lives without the kids being present. To get through that time,she would call me and we would spend the twenty minutes talking. It was good for me, too. We got each other through those first months.

One afternoon, as my son and I waited for his dad to get home from work, the phone rang. The phone was in my husband’s office, just on the other side of the living room where my son and I were. I ran to get the phone, leaving Tony crawling on the rug in the middle of the room. Not thirty seconds after I picked up the phone, I heard a loud bang. I dropped the phone and ran around the corner. Tony was on the floor. Hid dad had just walked in the door and was standing in the doorway, his face ashen, his mouth open. We checked the baby. He was fine. He didn’t even cry. My husband said that just as he opened the door, he saw the baby pull himself up on the coffee table, lose his balance and fall. As he fell, his forehead hit the corner of the coffee table. He said he was expecting to see blood all over. There was nothing. Not even a scratch or a red mark on him.

We couldn’t explain it. My husband summed it up. He’s not one to believe in this sort of thing so it surprised me to hear him say, “Someone was watching out for him.”

It made me smile. I knew it was David. Several times in the previous weeks, I had heard the baby cry during the middle of the night and before I even pulled myself out of bed, the music box would start playing music and he would stop crying. There was no one to turn on the music box yet it played. Twice I had gone into the baby’s bedroom to find the rocking chair next to the crib rocking by itself.

A month or so had gone by since the baby had fallen and hit his head on the coffee table. My next door neighbor volunteered to drive Tony and me to the store. We got in her car and she asked me if my guest wanted to go to the mall with us. I said we didn’t have a guest. She asked if he had already left and I said we had not had any guests in months and no male guests in about a year. She shook her head and said, “But I saw him. He was in the window in the baby’s room. I saw him last night. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and wandered around the house. When I looked over there, I saw a man walking back and forth carrying the baby against his shoulder. He walked back and forth, back and forth.” I asked her to describe the man she saw and she described my brother, David. My husband was the only man in the house and he was a full foot taller than my brother and very thin. My brother was near 200 pounds.

Indeed someone was watching over him. And it brought a smile to my heart.

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Love Never Dies

I’m re-posting an entry originally posted in 2008. I’m in a place right now where I’m thinking about people I miss.
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David always stuck up for me. Always. When I was in first grade, David was in fifth grade. One morning we were got to school and as we walked across the playground, a big kid yelled at me to get out of his way then he threw the baseball at my head, knocking me down to the ground. David made sure I was okay and he got me to the office then he went and beat the kid up. He didn’t care that the kid was a lot bigger than him. He just beat him up for hurting his little sister.

The following year we went to a different school. I was the only one in the class that was new to the second grade group and they didn’t like me. David was in sixth grade and was on the school Safety Patrol. One day, he was near my building when I was out at recess. I was on the spinning thing they called a merry-go-round and I was losing my grip. I yelled for them to stop so I could get off but they laughed at me and went faster and faster. I fell off and no one would stop it or slow down. They were kicking me in the face and I was crying. My mouth filled with dirt and tan bark. All of the sudden David was there, blowing his Safety Patrol whistle and yelling at the kids to stop. He pulled me out and got me to the Nurse’s Office and stayed with me until I got cleaned up. When I got back to class, I found out that David had gotten the kids in trouble for not stopping when I was down under everyone’s feet.

Throughout our time in school, at least once a month David would come home with a torn shirt because he had been in a fight, sticking up for us, his little sisters. He even got in a fight sticking up for our other brother that was two years older than David. David was fierce when it came to protecting and defending his brothers and sisters.

I miss David. I need David. Sometimes I go to the cemetery and talk to him. I took my kids with me to introduce them to David when they were babies. Now I sit and tell him about what is going on with me and with my kids. I ask him for help and advice. Sometimes I cry, sitting there telling him how I miss him and how I wish he were here to help me and defend me. I ask him to help me make decisions. I know he hears me.

When we buried David more than 25 years ago, there was a tiny little pine tree next to his grave. That tree is now huge and nine times out of ten, when I go to see David, after I’m all done talking to him and asking him to help me, a single pine cone drops from the tree and lands right next to me, even when there is no wind or breeze at all. It makes me smile and although no one else seems to think so, I know it’s David letting me know that he’s there with me, listening, and getting ready to go slug it out for me!

pine-cone

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Mama Knows

Yesterday, while discussing lies and liars with Kim, we both mentioned that moms always know when their kids are lying. It made me think about how my mom could always guess when one of us was lying and then she would trick them into admitting the lie.

For example, one summer my brothers were working picking apricots in one of the many orchards in the area (I grew up in San Jose, California where there were once many orchards with apricots. prunes, peaches, and other delicious fruits). Every morning they would leave together and in the late afternoon, they would return one by one as they would take their time getting a ride home with various friends. After a couple of weeks, my mom noticed that my brother, David, was not wearing the beat up clothes that he should be wearing for working in the fields and then when he got home, his clothes were clean and in perfect condition, unlike that of my other two brothers who would arrive home with dirty clothes and dusty shoes after working all day picking fruit. She figured that David was not going to work. He was probably spending the time with his girlfriend. So one day, she asked him why his clothes were not dirty when he got home from work like that of his brothers. David’s answer: “I work clean.” She let it go and then the next morning as the boys were getting ready to leave for work (my father would take them and drop them off on his way to work) my mom said to David “Say hi to Mara for me!” (Mara was his girlfriend). He didn’t even flinch. He just smiled and said, “Okay. I will.” And off he went. It wasn’t until he was in the car with my brothers that he realized that she had caught him! He went to work every day after that.

Another time, my mom grew curious as to why the jewelry store catalog was coming to the house addressed to David. She got to thinking and figured that he had spent his summer work money on a ring for his girlfriend. So one afternoon when David got home from school, (he was in ninnth grade so about 15) my mom asked David, “So did Mara like the ring you bought for her?” David smiled and excitedly said, “Oh yeah! She really likes it. She wears it every day!” And then it hit him. He was caught again!

So see, no one could lie to my mom and get away with it. Is it any wonder that I grew up not wanting to lie even if it would save me?

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