17 December, 2007

Happy Anniversary. . . of sorts.

Today marks 6 months since my little brother Gavin died unexpectedly in his sleep of natural causes. He was 21 years old.

I stopped by the Old Laie Cemetary today where he's buried and had a good cry. Tall, flowing grass now covers the heap of sand that quietly awaits a stone that will probably read, "Here Lies Gavin, Son, Unkie, Brother, Friend," but probably SHOULD read "Gavtron, 1986-2007, temporarily visiting Planet Zurg."

If you look closely you'll find pumpkin seeds sprinkled throughout the grass from the pumpkins the boys and I took over for Halloween. Pumpkins with writing dictated by Raleigh that read "Unkie, We miss you! We wanted to put these pumpkins on your grave because we know how much you love trick-or-treating. We love you. Have fun! See you soon."

Sometimes I kneel and lay my cheek on the sand. Today, when I did, I saw a ladybug dancing happily along unaware of the solemnity I feel on that spot, and pulling me back to times of laughter and joy. I followed willingly.

I am always so touched by what I find there, and this visit was no exception. His grave was COVERED in flower leis, candy and gifts from friends who graduated BYUH on Sat. A few weeks ago someone left a championship medal from a soccer tournament. I am incapable of saying how VERY MUCH these remembrances mean to us. THANK YOU for loving and REMEMBERING my brother. Truly, I am so very touched.

"They" say that anniversaries are hard days, whether you consciously recognize the date or not. In fact, my mom reports that often she'll be having an exceptionally hard day and then she'll write a check and realize it's the 17th. Interesting how our hearts wrap around things that our brains refuse to acknowledge. . . attempting to offer protection, however feebly from the pain our hearts feel regardless.

I had a tender "talk" with my brother today and suddenly became poignantly aware of how long it's been since I've heard so much as a giggle or seen even his sly half mouthed grin in response. I began to sink to about a step above despair, when in that very instant, and in true form, the kids set off the car alarm and I was called back to consciousness. Ha! Now I don't mean this in the derogatory, and wish no offense, but THANK GOD for those boys who constantly give me the will and energy to live. . .and bless me with the resolve not only to live, but to LIVE WELL despite. I think without them I would struggle not to selfishly sit on the "me, me me" mule riding 'round and 'round the corral of despond.

Anyway, today in memory of my sweet brother, do something for me. Choose not to merely live but to LIVE WELL. Heaven knows He did.


Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

This was a very beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this with us. It made me think of some important changes I need to make in my life.

Bungeegal said...

I'm sorry for your loss, truly. Its so good you have your husband and children to give you love and joy everyday. One day you shall all be together again and your brother would want nothing but happiness in your life on earth. He'll embrace you someday in the future and you'll feel the glow of his smiling face once again.

Be happy each and everyday, thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows--you have friends you don't even know yet. Bless you and yours.

Gibson Gang said...


Your strength gives me courage.

Thank you.

Heather said...

I love that post Nat. It made me cry...a happy cry though because I love Gav so much! I miss him a lot too, and I'm pretty sure he crosses my mind still just about every day.

shelly said...

Thank you for sharing that, Natalie. Your words and thoughts are so beautiful. Gavin is on my mind all the time, also. He and his life and happy, GOOD spirit will never be forgotten or taken for granted by me. I imagine anyone who ever knew him would say the same thing. One thing I do KNOW....he loves you.

Anna K. said...

I found your page and I love this post. You have such a good attitude. Gavin really was, and still is an inspiration to all who knew him. He truly did know how to live well.

i'm erin. said...

Natalie, your words are poignant and beautiful, thank you. We loved Gavin, what a great brother and friend,and a great "unkie" to all the little boys and girls around.
luv, erin