Monday, July 2, 2012

A year ago...

Brian and Janet on the deck in Port Orford, July 4th weekend, 2011.
Butters and Walrus 
just below this deck.
You two enjoying the scene.

Walrus watching Butters.

Butters watching Walrus.

We had just had our Fourth of July lunch, after the parade:
BBQ ribs, Boston baked beans, fried artichokes, green salad,
hummus, pizza bites, corn on the cob.
You and Janet
Pia and Jason
Dad and I 
Walrus and Butters.

We celebrated our many blessings together that week:
Your Dad's and my 45th Anniversary;
Your engagement to Janet the previous spring;
Dad's upcoming birthday;
and our nation's birthday.

You and Janet had just returned from our little town's parade, llamas' and tractors' and horses' and a  musicians'  parade. In the afternoon, you thought of joining the Jerry cans race, or the golf on the beach, or the square dancing in the moonlight. You had made plans to join Claire Davis, Janet's school friend, to watch the Fireworks Celebration at Battlerock Park.

It all felt like a golden time, with all of you, (minus your brother and his family), a family reunion of sorts I could look forward to every year. We had never had a proper reunion, with all our relatives, close and far.
We talked about saving the 4th of July to spend together.
 Every year.

 Before you two drove back to Southern Cal., you took apart the big monster rototiller that had been too big for us to bring down to Long Beach the previous winter in our SUV. You packed it in pieces, and stuffed it in the trunk of your BMW, knowing what you wanted to do to that yard of yours,  you and Janet building dreams, to and from Oregon.

After your sudden death, we could have used many rototillers. Friends and colleagues spent days and days trimming trees, removing debris and old sheds, cutting up  soil, adding amendments, turning the soil over until the place was ready for new plantings.
A trellis and  boardwalk were erected, (thanks to Janet's father and brother who did all the construction work,)  and loving messages  were inscribed on the back of each plank, each step from the house to the trellis, all written in silence and in prayer on the day of your memorial.

People you had known in elementary, high school and  college,  friends I had not seen in decades, dozens of new people I never met before, people you worked with, neighbors and friends of Janet, parents of friends, people I worked with and knew about you,  everyone came to say goodbye in a personal way, by penning their farewell message, by building the garden, donating money for resources and special plants, doing all they could do in your memory.
Even Butters pawed her message, on the last board, before it was nailed down.

The house  in Long Beach is going up  for sale this month.
The new owners will never know the dreams contained in that space, the love shared under those trees,  the generous outpouring of resources and labor that went  to create a lasting tribute to your generous and loving soul.

Your Dad and I, your brother and sister, relatives and friends who came from everywhere heard about the wonderful adult you had become, a thoughtful guy who was always willing to lend a hand.

We will gather every July, son, in your memory, in your honor.
You will always shine brightly in our firmament.
Much love.

1 comment:

  1. I knew July would be impossibly difficult for you, I've also had your Brian on my mind. Words fail me now. Your words today ~ beautiful letter of love to a cherished child.