It's Been a Year...

So I feel like I should write something.  But instead I am sitting here struggling with what I should write or say. I am, as my husband would say, "out of sorts".  I'm a little depressed, a little sad and generally disoriented and not knowing what or how to feel. The Ruttle lyrics, "I feel good, I feel bad; I feel happy, I feel sad..." echo in my brain.

It was not so hot last year. I remember it being warm, but not hot.  My in laws and my boys went out to lunch at the Olive Garden.  We went to JCP to find a skirt for me to wear the next day at church.  The Olive Garden food didn't sit to well with me and when my in laws went home, I laid down and tried to rest.  And that's when the call came...First my brother had been taken to the hospital and then a hour or so later we got the call that he was dead.

I worried about my parents driving up from the shore.  I called our pastor, Erik Spencer.  I had forgotten that he was doing a wedding that afternoon.   My parents got home; they didn't go the hospital as they originally said they would.  Neighbors came to the house because that's the kind of neighbors I have.  Erik Spencer must have finished the wedding because he came by with organist Charlotte Cunningham and everyone gathered round and prayed.

I remember thinking that if my parent could make it through the night, they would make it through.  And that was a big IF in my mind.  I went back to check on them before I went to bed and I crept into their house early in the morning.  They were both still asleep, which was a relief for me.

Snippets of the next few days:  going to the funeral parlor with my parents and sister-in-law.  Trying to keep the peace while arrangements were made.  (Mostly keeping my mother calm when SiL said she said no to Jimmy's name in the obit).  Buying flowers.  Finding photos.  There was so much to do and it was cold and rainy on Monday the 4th.

By the day of the funeral (June 6th) it was sunny and warm again.  There were so many people who showed up.  And there was so much food.  I remember making it my mission to disperse all the left overs.  Neighbors, friends, the church...everyone got care packages (whether they wanted them or not).  And by Thursday my parents returned to the shore (which would quickly become their safe haven) and I had given all the food away and for the first time since that Saturday afternoon could actually take some time to breath.

As this anniversary comes upon me and I still don't know how to feel, I think back on memories of my kid brother.  I am sad that the last time I saw him was just about a month before he died.  I wish I had seen him more.  We lived in the same town, less than a mile away, and yet we did not see each other often.  I know the last time I saw him was in early May because the boys and I had just returned from WDW and I had brought back an Orange Bird cup for him.  He came over to pick it up and I guess we talked for a half an hour or so...

When we were younger, we were closer.  How could we not be living in a house with only one "real" bathroom?  Growing up kids of all ages played together on our block.  He was a good kid, a popular kid was never afraid to try new things...especially if it was an exotic new food (He was introduced to lobster in elementary school and after that there was no going back).

We had many of the same tastes.  We were both in the high school band, at different times and playing different instruments (I on the flute and he on the tuba! He was so good that one year he and my parents went into NYC at Christmas time so he could participate in "Tuba Christmas" at Rockerfeller Center).

We both moved back home after college (since we were 6 years apart, he had four years on his own before I returned and then I had 4 years of my own until he returned).  As adults one of the nuttiest things we did was decide to go to see Elvis Costello at the Garden State Art Center at the last minute.  We literally left the house an hour before the show was to start and without tickets.  We speed down the Garden State Parkway, arriving just before the show was to start.   As we went up to the box office to get tickets we were approached by another couple who had 2 spare tickets and bought them at cost.  We were in the front section (not even 20 rows back) and were seated before the opening band (I believe they were the La's if I recall correctly) finished their set.  It was a night of great music and fun because of how everything just fell into place.

I wish there had been more times like that, although we did go to other concerts together and even when I got married the three of us did things together (like enjoying a private screening of "Tarzan" one Sunday morning courtesy of a good friend who worked at a local movie theater).  My brother was an usher at my wedding and I was a reader at his.  (And most of the photos and the video of his event were courtesy of my husband who had the whole DVD put together before the couple even returned from their honeymoon).

My brother and I never had a falling out, but "things" just happened and we didn't see each other as much as I wish we now could have.  But am grateful for the time we did have together.  And I'm grateful that less than a week before he passed away, he stopped by to see my parents and talk with them.  My son was over at their house at the time and my brother took the time to talk to him about some things that were dear to him (marine life and Lego).  I am so grateful that this is the memory my son will have of his uncle.

So a year has passed...and soon another one will and then another.  But no matter how much time passes, I will always remember the nearly 40 years that I spent being the big sister to John S. Foster III and all the good times that went along with it.


  1. I'm glad you have some good memories, I'm sure it is hard when these dates come up-not that it isn't hard all the time. But it is always amazing how many details you remember...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Not Guilty

Please Don't Ask Me...

Lowe's LIES