Monsters Here, Monsters There, Monsters Everywhere

I don’t recall a lot of my childhood when I was Davey’s age. Based upon who I am now, I can assume that I was quite the imaginative and precocious little girl. I enjoyed playing “pretend” and creating fantasies and stories. I liked to think my life was different than what it was, not to say that my childhood was by any measure unsatisfactory.

Davey has a lot of my imagination in him. He loves to create stories, to play pretend with his cars and action figures. He loves to pretend that he may be living another life. This is all normal, as is what happened two nights ago.

His daddy always puts him to bed. Some nights they read stories, other nights my husband creates stories. And then there are some nights, when Davey creates his own story or perhaps alternate universe. This happened a couple of nights ago and I found myself sitting in his room eager to hear his ruminations and anecdotes.

For quite some time, Davey has displayed a concern about monsters. I use the word “concern” because it doesn’t seem to be a fear in that he’s crippled from being able to function for fear of monsters coming to get him. No, he seems to have an active inquiry about monsters, who they are, what they do, where they’re from. All of that jazz. We allow him to have a night light on and a flashlight in his room. I’m not sure if that stems from warding off the monsters, but it does help him sleep better.

His fascination with monsters has now morphed into something that really causes me to giggle. After his daddy put him to bed, I came into his room and laid down alongside of him. He asked me if Daddy had told me about the monsters in his room. I said his daddy had mentioned something along those lines, but I really wanted to hear from Davey about the monsters. With a gleam in his eyes and excitement in his voice, he burst from the covers of the bed and began pointing to his door where he stated that Johnny was standing there. Then he pointed to his tent and told me Lonny was in there, and then he pointed to the head of his bed and stated that Wonny was sitting there.

“Who are all of these?” I asked him.

“These are the good monsters, Mommy. They are my friends. They beat up the mean monsters and protect me,” he said with a smile.

So, I sat in the bed and looked around the room, saying the names of the good monsters while pointing in their directions. When I made it to Lonny, who was to be perched at the top of the bed, Davey laughed at me because Lonny had moved and was playing a trick on me. Then he became all serious and said to me, “Mommy, can’t you see him?”

No, I couldn’t see Lonny. He was not a part of my imagination. Did I tell Davey that? No. I just played along with him.

The whole scenario made me smile. I’ve heard stories about children creating imaginary friends and protectors. Davey had one briefly over the summer, but the monsters just fascinated me even more. My child’s mind had developed these monsters. Listening to him, he had given them all personalities and appearances. It was phenomenal and it made me think back to my childhood.

I was never really afraid of the dark, but I could never go to sleep without my closet being closed. At almost 40, I’m still the same way with a closet door being open in the middle of the night. In my mind, it just invites in all the unsavories.

What I do recall, is that on the nights when I awoke from my nightmares as a child, I always thought my daddy was sitting at my window, looking out into the night world, keeping watch and protecting me over the evil nasties.

As I got older, I would think back to those nights when I was convinced my daddy was watching over me. In reality, it was nothing more than the side of a toy chest, with its curves, round and long. Set against the backdrop of the streetlight from outside, it always gave me the vision of a man’s profile…my daddy’s profile and I always knew he was protecting me.

Funny what a mind can do, especially that of a child’s.

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Songbird

I sat in the pew of the sanctuary, much further back than I wanted, but I needed an aisle seat so I could discreetly film the concert. I watched anxiously as other parents shuffled in and I beamed with excitement when my mom and dad entered. They were here to see their first grandchild perform in his first ever school concert. I imagined what it must have been like for them when they were my age, experiencing all the firsts. I smiled at my mother as she frantically looked over heads to try to find Davey.

After a few moments, his grade filtered in. We sat quietly, unlike the obnoxious parents in front of us who were feverishly waving at their little one, thereby preventing us from being able to see Davey. For a moment, I said a prayer that my mother’s claws wouldn’t come out as she began complaining, not so quietly, about not being able to see. Finally, the rude parents took their seat and we were able to see Davey as he stepped on stage and climbed onto the risers. He didn’t see us, which was our purpose since we preferred to have him focus on his concert.

The children were quickly and strategically placed prompting the pianist to begin playing. At that moment, I watched my son, my baby, my first born, in a whole new light. He was on stage, singing, clapping, and going through all of the motions of the songs he was taught. I felt a lump form in my throat, and the tears begin to develop in my eyes. Why was I crying? What was wrong with me? Was I the only parent who was crying? Perhaps, but I’m really ok with that.

With each song and each motion, my heart swelled with pride, but my stomach suffered through the knots of sadness, a sadness from how quickly he’s grown. I was in awe over his ability to flow along with the song and the fact that he would stand on that stage and stay focused. I can’t get him to do that! But really as I continued to watch him, I saw no one else on that stage. There were other bodies around him, but they were blurred out, like droning little bees flitting around him. I never knew it was possible to be so proud of someone in my life.

I wanted to stand up and shout, “the little boy in the yellow oxford shirt? yeah, the one who’s singing perfectly and going through the motions flawlessly, well that’s my boy! I am his mother!” I wanted to shout it from the rooftops so everyone could here.

I sit here now and re-watch the videos I took and I can’t seem to dam up the tears. This child is my child, he is a part of me and my husband. Every day I’m amazed at what the two of us created, but today I have such reverence for this small little being. He is beyond great, he is beyond awesome. He is the most perfect thing God could ever create.

So, I think I’ll sit here and watch him sing and fall in love all over again.

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Stories From Davey

I watched from my perch above, having just opened the window. The fresh, warm air pushed in like water bursting forth from a dam. I felt it smother me before a breeze of the wind flushed the heat from my face. I laid hidden from my entertainers, they unaware of what they were, and me, their unseen audience.

The sun danced between the branches and the little buds of leaves starting to form. Shadows began forming and almost gesticulating on the grass below. I watched as the occasional breeze blew a stray leaf into a frenzy of somersaults, while the others were forced into their gymnastics by my husband’s and son’s rakes.

They, more specifically my husband, were taking advantage of the beautiful, Spring-like day to attack are neglected yard. What few trees we have are bare to the bone and have been for months now after shedding their foliage. As usual, we put off yard work as long as possible. We’re not afraid of the work, the character or strength it builds, or the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long day’s work. No, we’d just rather be outside doing other things.

As Davey has grown older, he’s idolized his daddy more and more. To quote the words of King Louie from the Jungle Book, Davey likes to say about his daddy, “I want talk like you, walk like you, be like you.” There are a lot worse things in life than a young boy worshipping his father. So, to see Davey “working” hard alongside his daddy really just swells my heart.

I, unfortunately, was banished inside over the weekend, suffering the consequences of a stomach bug that seems to be floating around. My husband took over parenting responsibilities solo and managed to maintain the house as well, but decided to go a step further and rake the leaves. This is where my entertainment began.

I stood above, at our bathroom window, watching and listening as Davey talked to his daddy. I watched my husband continue to rake, not skipping a beat regardless of what Davey told him. I stifled a chuckle, but still smiled happily when Davey dropped his rake and patting his chest said, “Daddy, this is my Captain America shirt.” My husband responded with, “that’s right, buddy.” Then the conversation continued much to my amusement.

“Mommy, bought this shirt for me at Wal-Mart,” Davey said.

“It’s a good shirt, buddy,” my husbanded replied while attacking the pile of leaves.

“I wore it to the Y and mommy came in and said, ‘what’s going up, Captain America?'” Davey replied.

“Are you sure mommy didn’t say, ‘what’s up’ or ‘what’s going on’?” my husband asked.

“Mmmm. She said, ‘what’s going up, Captain America’, because I was wearing a Captain America shirt. Isn’t it a great shirt, daddy?” Davey asked.

“Captain America is a great shirt,” my husband said as he viciously shook out the folds of a lawn bag, before stuffing them down into the garbage can. I tried to imagine being down on the ground with them, to see the look in my husband’s eyes as Davey became the reincarnate of a Chatty Cathy doll with a broken string.

Davey continued on, as my husband raked. With each heave of the rake, Davey had something new to say. Was my husband truly listening to him or was he just going through the motions? Was he rolling his eyes? Was he silently chuckling? Or was he doing just as I was doing and becoming amazed at the thoughts that were rolling forth from our son’s mouth.

Once upon a time, my husband and I used to work our yard in peace and quiet. We focused on our task at hand and girded ourselves for what needed to be done. Our work went along much quicker then, especially seeing as how every five seconds we didn’t hear, “Daddy, turn your eyes around and look at me while I’m talking.”

Some days, I cringe at the thought of what could possibly come out of my child’s mouth. What sort of story is he going to regale us with today? Will it be true or something fictional and of the own inner workings of his brain. Some days, I watch him as he tells us stories. I’m convinced I can see the wheels and cogs spinning in his brain as his heart pumps out the love that fills the stories. I wonder how long it takes for him to come up with what he wants to say. What sort of effort goes into them? But for the most part, I love my daily stories from Davey, everything from dragons who fight, planes who speaks, and penguins who karate chop their way into the storybook of our lives. We even hear stories of Jesus, Noah, and Moses. It’s never a dull moment and I’m thankful for them every day.

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Henry the Toy

I gave up a long time ago at trying to understand the thinking of a three year old’s brain. It was more exhausting than trying to understand why Kanye West chooses to be such a racist! Actually, Kanye is more frustrating to me than my three year old, but they seem to think alike. Hmmm…does that mean my three year old is an extremely intelligent individual, or that Kanye West has the brain of a three year old. I don’t know that I want to give Kanye a bigger head nor insult my own child’s intelligence. Anyways, I’ve diverged from the original reason for this post…Henry the Toy!

That’s correct, you did read that. I often wonder if Davey truly sees his brother as a human being, another living, breathing gift from God, or if he just sees him as a toy placed here for Davey’s entertainment or at times, misery.

Not a day goes by when I’m not saying one of the following phrases:
“Don’t pull your brother by his shirt.”
“Don’t put your brother in a choke hold.”
“Don’t head butt your brother.”
“Don’t push him over.”
“Get off of him.”
“That’s an illegal move…there is no horse collaring in this household.”
“Stop treating your brother like he’s a rag doll.”

Well, actually there doesn’t seem to be five minutes which go by in this house when one of those phrases isn’t said. The only true peace my husband and I get is when one or both of the boys are down for naps. I didn’t do this much refeering between “children” when I was negotiating huge advertising or distribution contracts in the corporate world, and trust me some grown men can behave worse than children. People who tell you or seem to think that being a SAHM is a walk in the park, clearly have been sniffing the glue much too long.

What I’m seeing more and more of lately, in addition to above said phrases, is that Davey truly thinks that Henry’s sole purpose on this earth is to do exactly what Davey says when Davey says. It’s becoming more and more clear every day, but really didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks until today. My three year old thinks that his one year old brother should do nothing more than serve him.

OK, Ok, for all of us out there who had siblings, we all have done this to our younger siblings or were subjected to it by being the younger children. Perhaps it’s a rite of passage, but truthfully I’ve had enough! I’m sick of Davey forcing, yes forcing, his brother to stop what he’s doing in order to play with him. I’m annoyed with hearing, “mommy, make Henry play with me. It’s his job. He must do what I say. I didn’t say he could play dinosaurs. I didn’t give him permission to leave. I am the boss.”

Excuse me? You’re just a little peon in the kingdom of mommy and daddy, who are the supreme rulers. This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship where you have no rights, least of which is the ability to boss around your brother! These usually start out as my thoughts, but seem to quickly become part of my verbal lexicon, forever thrusted out into the sayings from mommy, never to be removed. Only, I get to boss anyone around, including daddy! Just kidding, honey! You know you’re my equal. :)

Seriously, I watched today as Henry picked his brother up out of his chair, and carried his 22 pounds across the room because it was imperative for Henry to play with Davey, only Davey. I know my child is smart, both of my children are, but it’s tearing at the foundation of my patience (what little of it I have) when Davey treats his brother this way. I’m told he’ll grow out of this, but when? Until then, I suppose I must resign myself to the fact that I’ll be spending the better portions of my day protecting Henry at least until he’s old enough to pay it back to Davey. By the way, I’m hoping Henry does end up bigger than Davey and I genuinely hope he dishes it back out to Davey twofold. At that point, I’m just going to toss them both out into the backyard and let them duke it out.

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Keep It Shut

Last week I started my first ever Bible Study. I’ve always wanted to participate in one, but trying to coordinate my schedule around everyone else’s was just quite impossible. My cousin turned me on to a ministry who does online Bible Studies, Proverbs 31, and I am officially hooked. So, why am I blogging about participating in a Bible Study? I’m glad you asked because it’s almost as if my cousin knew that right now, at this point in my life, I really needed something like this. She knew because God told her, and He waited until at this point to tell her knowing that I have a huge problem with keeping it shut, my mouth that is.

I’m two weeks into this Bible Study and I wish I had started it sooner. It’s put a whole new perspective on things in my life. It’s made me realize what I was doing, things I was either completely oblivious to or things I was telling myself to forget about. And it’s helped me with my most important role to date…being a mother.

The title of the Bible Study is “Keep it Shut”. It basically helps you to realize what to say, how to say it, and perhaps when it’s best to say nothing at all. All of which I have a severe problem with accomplishing. I just wish I’d had the book a week sooner because it is now opening my eyes to a lot of behavior of which I could use assistance.

You see, two weeks ago, my husband and I got into an argument. It wasn’t just simply a disagreement. No, this was a “yelling at the top of our lungs, stomping off, saying things we regret” kind of argument. What made it worse is that the argument occurred in front of Davey.

I grew up in a house with parents who had disagreements at times. There was the occasional raising of the voice, but there was no hitting below the belt or name calling. Having arguments is a part of human nature and I by no means am interested in candy coating things for either of our boys. I never want to put forth a fa├žade of having the happiest marriage in the world. Am I happy? Absolutely. Do I love my husband? You better believe it, but like most marriages it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies with angels singing in the background. So, having an argument in front of my children isn’t what bothers me, it’s how low my husband and I got in said argument in front of Davey.

Henry was napping and Davey was eating his lunch. I don’t recall how the argument started, but looking back on things I should have “kept it shut”. Instead I chose to ignore that voice deep inside of me who kept saying, “it’s not worth it. think of what you’re doing to your son. think of what you’re doing to your husband. think of what you’re doing to yourself. think of what you’re doing to your God” Nope, I didn’t take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, or pray to God for guidance. I lashed back out at my husband.

Here’s what made things so horrible, though, and what I can’t get out of my head. I caught Davey out of the corner of my eye watching my husband and I volley back and forth. He listened to one insult after another (there were no swear words, my husband and I don’t do that). What could he possibly have been thinking as he saw this vicious attack? Our voices were so loud that I’m surprised Henry was able to nap at all! Then the scenario got worse. As my husband sat down in the recliner, getting in his few last words, I followed him and threw in a few of my own while our three year old stood between the two of us, arms out and said, “no, stop.” And only then did I stop.

A few days later, I brought this up with my husband. I asked if he had paid attention to Davey while we were arguing and he said, “No”. He recalls how Davey jumped between the two of us as if to put the fighters into their own separate corners. We both agreed something like that can’t happen again.

Over the past week and a half, as I’ve started working on my Bible Study, I’ve found myself quick at times to let my temper flare up. It’s hard to have patience with a three year old especially one who is just as hard-headed and strong-willed as myself, but I have to find a way.

Since I’ve begun this Bible Study, things that I once found important have now become trivial. What’s the point in being upset with Davey for spilling paint on the floor? I can clean it up and it’s not wasted any of my time. What’s the point in losing my patience with him when I’m trying to work or read and he just won’t be quiet? The day may come when I beg him to talk to him and he just won’t. Then what? And of course, I’ve learned to take a minute and truly reflect upon my word before it spills out of my mouth, forever a part of the world and the memory of the intended recipient.

I’m not a huge fan of self help books, but I am a huge fan of the Words of our Lord. Perhaps instead of saying that hideous thing to make someone else hurt as bad as me, I should remember this passage from Ecclesiastes 10:12
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.

Best way to enjoy a good book...fire and a cup of tea.

Best way to enjoy a good book…fire and a cup of tea.

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Once Upon a Time…

When I was Davey’s age, I had very few stuffed animals in my bedroom. I did have toys, but a good portion of them were gender neutral, with the exception of a doll or two here and there. At night, I slept with a night light and was allowed to have a flashlight, but I never slept with any stuffed animals or dolls. I was always allowed to take a one item with me to bed. That item was a book, which is what the majority of my room consisted of as a child.

Just a couple of our bookshelves.

Just a couple of our bookshelves.

When I became a mother, it was a goal and intention to read as much as possible to my children. I started out reading to Davey when he was still in utero. I would sit in his bedroom, cradle my belly, and read one of the many children’s books I had. There were even times when, while taking a lunch break from work as I was working when pregnant with Davey, I would jet over to the local Barnes and Noble, purchase a couple of books and then sit in my car and read to my baby.

Reading was instilled within me at an early age. I blame that in part on my dad, who does not have a college education, but is one of the two smartest men I know (my husband is the other). My dad reads like crazy. He built bookshelves for my parent’s house, bought bookshelves for other rooms, and lately just keeps a pile alongside his recliner. When he finishes reading one, he immediately picks up another. As a child, we lived in the country. We didn’t have a local library, but instead had a bookmobile. On the days the bookmobile would come to the local Winn Dixie (a grocery store chain nearly obsolete), my dad would make a point of leaving work early so he could get me there in the small window of time available. My very first “big person” book I read was at the age of 7 and it was a biography on Helen Keller. It was considered an adult book and while I didn’t know all the words, my dad sat with me every night and helped me read.

These days I don’t have as much time as I used to when it comes to reading books. We are; however, trying to fix that by getting rid of our Directv. Davey is now at the age where we read chapter books to him. We started him out at Christmas with the “How to Train your Dragon” series. We’re currently on book two of that one, but we’ve decided to go a step further.

Reading with Daddy when he was 6 months old.

Reading with Daddy when he was 6 months old.

Quite a few years ago, my sister-in-law bought my husband a copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Harry Potter companion book written by J.K. Rowling. At that point in his life, he’d read all of the Harry Potter books, but this one just didn’t appeal to him, so it sat on our bookshelf. A few days ago, I decided to pull it down and my husband has started “killing two birds with one stone” or so to say. We’re now using the opportunity to read some of the books to Davey that we’ve always wanted to read. The past couple of nights have consisted of ole Beetle the Bard, and once my husband is finished reading a chapter, he says to me, “I’m enjoying this book.”

Almost 2.

Almost 2.

Well, naturally I wanted to hop on board with this. Much like my husband, I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and I can’t wait for Davey to read those, but the books I haven’t read is the Percy Jackson series. My husband began reading those years ago and even encouraged me to read them, but I had to prioritize. There were, and still are, just too many books I want to read. So, I’ve decided that I can read Percy Jackson to Davey and it’s like I’m reading a book myself. I usually have at least 3 books going at one time (a Bible Study, a non fiction, and a fiction, with at least one of the books being on my Kindle), so this hasn’t been a big deal.

A little over one.

A little over one.

Last night, I read Beedle the Bard to Davey (his daddy was out of town) and the put him to bed. I came back downstairs to relax and read a little by the fire when I heard movement upstairs. I climbed the stairs, quietly seething that Davey was not sleeping as he should have been. When I opened the door to his room, he wasn’t in his bed. Instead he was in his tent with Beedle the Bard, a flashlight, and about 8 stuffed animals which he had placed in descending order, tallest to shortest. I listened quietly as he sat in his tent. I could hear the crisp turning of a page and Davey exclaiming, “You see Flepper (his spotted Leopard), on this page it says this and on this page the witches are walking with the knight.”

2 & 1/2 years old.

2 & 1/2 years old.

He’s only three, so of course he wasn’t actually “reading” the words, but it brought a smile to my face that something of me was being passed on to this child, considering everything else about him is all his daddy.

Enjoying a good book at 2 & 1/2

Enjoying a good book at 2 & 1/2

This morning, we sat on the couch as Henry napped, and took one of his age appropriate books. I’ll give my child this…he is learning words. He knows a decent amount of phonics and he has an awesome memory. So, he would read the words “the”, “is”, “and”, “or”, and would attempt to sound out other words. It truly made my heart burst with pride. Now I just have to find the same amount of time to devote to Henry so he can develop my same love.

One of many bookshelves in our house.

One of many bookshelves in our house.

Now I’m off to order a few more books and continue with Percy Jackson.

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I Want You To Know Him

If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sound. It’s the sound of his last breaths, the minutes that seemed like eternity as I watched him die and listened to the raspy sound of his lungs desperate to take in any air they could get. By that point, he’d had enough morphine in his body to not feel the agonizing pain of his body shutting down on him. Too bad my mom and dad and I couldn’t have something to ease our hurt as we watched the greatest thing to ever enter our lives, slowly drift back out of it, much too soon.

I can still see the look on his face as he struggled to breathe. His face was pale, gray almost. His beautifully blue, eyes which could have melted the heart of any girl who looked at him, had darkened as well and his body became limp as he stared at the ceiling. He was my best friend, the one I confided everything to, the one to know it all first. He was my soul mate.

Today has been 8 years since he left us and I find myself eager to pull up every memory I can of him. I sit and show my boys pictures of him and tell them stories about him. And I want to tell you those stories. I want you to know him, just like I want my boys to know him.

He was one week old.

He was one week old.

My brother was easily the most amazingly annoying thing to enter this earth. Our birthdays were 6 years and 2 weeks to the day apart, which meant that we shared a birthday party on the week between our birthdays, mostly for convenience for our mom. One guess as to how much I loved that! (sarcasm).

One of our many shared birthday parties.

One of our many shared birthday parties.

He cried all the time. He was always attached to our mom, never leaving her side, even when I just needed 5 private moments with her. He was a mom monopolizer. Not cool!

Enjoying a few laughs.

Enjoying a few laughs.

He hated to sleep and when our dad banished him from their bedroom at night, I would awake to find he had crawled in bed with me.

Brian 13

He loved wrestling, or as we call it down south, wrasslin’. 80s music was his cup of tea. Pauly Shore movies made him laugh, .38 Special was his favorite band, Arnold Schwartzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the movie stars he idolized.

Brian 14

He was constantly watching movies, a die hard Star Wars fan, but hated reading books. His food of choice was a 2 liter Mountain Dew and a large bag of Doritos. He was easily annoyed with laziness and incompetence. He didn’t have the patience for those who wouldn’t help themselves, but if you needed him he dropped everything.

Brian 4

He worked hard, hoarding money (we joked he was a miser). He treated his body like a temple, never drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. He was a work out fanatic and he longed to be a dad one day. He loved children way more than I ever did.

Brian 12

He loved to hunt and would come home with some of the greatest stories of spending a weekend in a cabin with 8 other men, who farted and snored all through the night. He bagged a couple of deer with the help of our dad.

Brian 2

He entered this world the purest of souls and I know for a fact left this world the same way. He was a realist, a lover and a fighter. He had two nicknames for me…fat legs (which I do now have thanks to my two darling boys) and Al, which was short for my first and middle name, Amy Lynn. No one else ever called me “Al”. I miss that.

Brian 10

He had something wrong with his ankles in that every time he took a step, his ankles would make a popping sound. Sometimes when I’m at my parent’s house, I hear that sound and I know he’s around. I just wish I could hug him one more time, to feel the strength of his arms around me.

I struggle with each passing day to not forget the sound of his voice or the way he looked. I want to remember his blue eyes and chuckle when I think back to a couple of nurses discussing how he looked like Ben Affleck. When I told him that, he suggested I hook him up. I told him to hook himself up since he was going to be around them 24/7.

With our dad before the church Christmas program.

With our dad before the church Christmas program.

We were each other’s strongest protectors. He was always there to save me and if someone screwed with him, you risked getting screwed over by me. I remember when he was first diagnosed with leukemia, he cried (one of the few times in the 3 years he fought it) and asked me what we were going to do. I said we’re going to keep living. When the leukemia came out of remission three years later and he was given 3-6 months to live, I cried and asked him what are we going to do. And he said, “You’re going to keep living.” Me. That’s who he was thinking about in that moment, not himself or what he would have to endure, but what my parents and I would have to endure. He was the most selfless human being I’ve ever met. He was my hero and everyone who knew him was a better person just for knowing him.

Brian 5

He was a Christian, a strong believer in God. On one of the final weeks when he was in the hospital I asked him if he was scared. He said, “no. I know where I’m going and it’s the most wonderful place to ever be. I’m just a little nervous about what I’ll have to endure before I get there.”

After one his radiation treatments.  After one his radiation treatments. [/caption]

The day before he died, it had snowed and he begged our mother to put him in his wheelchair and push him around the driveway so he could enjoy it. Hours later she called to tell me they were at the hospital and the doctor had told her, “his little heart won’t survive much longer.” His little heart. Boy, was the doctor mistaken. He had the biggest heart of all! I told my mother I wasn’t ready to let him go. I went to bed, thinking that we still had plenty of time left with him, only to be urged by God to go to the hospital. I’m glad I listened to Him, because had I not I wouldn’t have been able to cuddle up with Brian one last time as we laid in the hospital bed talking about our childhood while our parents tried to nap. We shared our last laughs together that night and to this day I’m forever thankful to God for encouraging me to go.

The week before he died.

The week before he died.

Today, I look at my boys and think what their lives would be like if Brian were in them. Davey has his name, but Henry has everything else. Henry looks like Brian, acts like Brian, he is Brian. My mother and I sometimes confuse him. They both have a piece of Brian in them. I just wish they could have actually experienced the magnitude of Brian.

Brian 10

So, on this day, the 8 year anniversary of his death, I wanted all of you to know one of the most wonderful lives I was ever a part of. It was easily the greatest 25 years I’ve ever experienced.

Brian 1

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