Monday, April 14, 2008

Marking Anniversaries

This picture represents my brother David's memorial service, held last May at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, Fl.

David died on April 8, which was actually Easter Sunday in 2007. This year, Easter came much earlier and sort of threw me (all of us).

Marking anniversaries is something I'm pretty new to, especially when it comes to the death of someone who was too young to go.

Some last moments are still fresh in my mind... that last minute in the hospital when he lay on his bed, released from machines and from us. His widow Deborah and her daughter, Darrah, and mine and David's mother (the Irish Knuckle) had, for the moment, left the room but I could not. It was as if someone had to sit with him at all times until the orderlies could come. Or it was as if have shared a play pen with him, I could not. I don't know.
Weeks past and we threw him a party, sending him off in strong weather balloons that took him up over the Gulf of Mexico. And time persisted in passing through the seasons, as a hand might pass over waist-high rosemary. His and Deborah's wedding anniversary and their summer birthdays and my birthday, and our sister's birthday, Thanksgiving, then the mid holidays when my mother slid and fell, surviving three days on her bedroom floor. And Christmas and the distractions of Mom's new life in rehab and the chaotic move to assisted living.

Then Easter. but that was in March and now it is April, a full year.

When you grow up Catholic, you march by the church's calendar. Easter memories have no dates attached. and now that the first year has passed, perhaps the wounds of a sparkling Good Friday when we decided he'd had enough of machines and a breezy Holy Saturday when we broke the news to my mother and a rainy Sunday when we sat and sat for 12 hours watching will melt into each other, like these balloons will, far off in some heaven never to be seen, only to be believed.

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