Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hard Day

Yesterday was a tough day and I don't wish that upon anyone. It was hard to watch such good friends go through that and also my parents. Tuesday night at the visitation the boy and I spent a good part of our time there going through old photo albums. It was nice to remember growing up with Brian and looking at all of the good times that we had shared throughout our childhood. The service was very nice and I am glad that the storm they had anticipated for yesterday decided to wait a day. There were so many people there from the neighborhood I grew up in, the school I went to and my childhood it was strange, but interesting to see so many familiar faces.

My parents, the boy and I helped with transporting flowers, plants and such and went back to the parents house after the cemetery and stayed for a while which was nice. Michael, the big brother is my age and his birthday, so I am going to have him and his parents over for dinner to celebrate next Tuesday will be nice. My parents are finally going to leave for AZ tomorrow morning. I know it has been hard for them not to have been down there yet this winter. They look forward to the time that they spend down there during the winter and I know that my dad is anxious to golf, but I also know that Mike and Janet needed them here during the past couple of months. They will be back right before my birthday which will be nice.

This is the post that Michael put up on the Caring Bridge site after yesterday and I think this kind of sums it all up. Spring is just about here, after this snow we are supposed to get today and tomorrow hopefully, then it will be time for new beginnings and fresh starts, I love looking at all of the baby animals and flowers and trees blooming in the spring time, it just reminds me of how great life can be!

This is Michael-Brian was laid to rest today and we arrived at Sunset Cemetery at 2:06pm. For those that do not know throughout his life Brian would ask what time he should arrive somewhere or how long to put something in the oven or microwave for and then if it was 3pm Brian would say "I'll be there at 3:04" or if it was to be 2 minutes to cook he would announce he set it for 1:58 so we were set to arrive at 2pm so we found that fitting. Also unbeknownst to us the path the processional took from the church took us towards our parents home where Brian grew up and then down Silver Lake Road past Adagio, his most recent home he moved into just after Thanksgiving, Champps and the neighborhood he knew. I could hear cars honking from the processional in tribute as we went past Adagio-which was closed so that staff and regulars could attend the funeral. And Silver Lake Rd-which is usually bustling w/ cars-had nary a vehicle on it at least for that stretch. I know it was my little bro' (Bri) "Strauss" who put it in their minds to take that route. He said when he knew what was going to happen that he wanted to come back home for just one day and that he promised to go back to the hospital but that was something we just could not do. This was his way to go down that road and past the places that brought him so much joy. Also the storm that was promised to wreak havoc on the roads held off so that friends and family who drove from up on da Iron Range and other points far away would have safe travel home (actually the moment the last visitors to our home left it was just starting to snow) . Another request Brian made that last day was to have mom sing "You are my Sunshine" at Brian's grave and many joined in. And instead of snow and gloomy skies at that time the sun was shining. A request Brian did not make but which dad surprised him w/ was a bagpipe player from the Crescent Society. Dad was a policeman for many years and Brian would attend a policeman's funeral even if he didn't know who he/she was or anyone there. For those that have never attended one a bagpipe processional is part of the proceedings. Dad arranged for one to play for Brian at the church and Brian must have approved because we did not expect for him to be waiting for us at the cemetery as well. I will miss my lil br' Bri more than anyone will ever know. He meant so much to me as he did to many others. I felt so privileged to meet many of his friends who he would talk about but who I rarely if ever met. Another thing Brian asked me that last day was he wanted to donate his eyes to me and when I asked why he said so that I could see better w/out my glasses and see the way he sees. There are many things I wish I could have seen (like all big brothers you want to protect your younger brother and sister) but one thing I did was what his friends are all about and what he meant to them. God Bless all of you and on behalf of our family thank you so much for everything you have done. -Michael (big bro)


Allie_in_Ga said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

Kimba said...

Wow, that was so very touching. Thank you for sharing!

lisagh said...

Jilly - again, I am so sorry you have to go through this. It's never easy. Big hugs. xoL

jillskict said...

Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and good thoughts!

Libby said...

My heart goes out to you, Jilly. I'm keeping both Brian's family and your family in my thoughts.