Rosemary's Blog


Eighteen – Eighteen
July 22, 2010, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Family and Friends

Back in May of 2009, my dear friend Dinah Taylor allowed me to post her lamentations on the day when her son, Young Jim, had been dead as long as he had lived…eighteen/eighteen.  I had already seen that milestone pass in 2007 with my middle son Jeremiah.  On July 23, 2007, Jeremiah had been an angel for fifteen years, the same number of years he was physically on this earth.  His fifteen/fifteen passed and I knew Drew’s eighteen/eighteen would be coming soon. 

It is now July 22, 2010.  Eighteen years ago Luther, Jordan, Erin  and  I were at our house in Beattyville, KY having a quiet night.  Drew and Jeremiah had left that morning at about 9 AM as excited as I had ever seen either one of them.  They stopped at my drugstore to say goodbye.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Drew had the top down on his red Miata. and I vividly remember watching them drive away, ball caps on backwards. 

July 22nd was an ordinary summer day.  We had plans to take all the kids waterskiing at Lake Cumberland that weekend so I had loads to do to get ready.  Drew and Jeremiah called me when they got to the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis that morning.  Both boys could not contain their excitement that members of the bands Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Faith No More were staying in the same hotel!!  They had gotten several autographs and were anxious for the concert that evening.

I thought of the boys all night wondering how they were enjoying their concert.  This event was  to be the highlight of their summer.  Drew had planned this trip for months.  Jeremiah was thrilled to be the younger brother who was included.  I went to bed safe in the knowlege that the boys were safe in the hotel for the night.

2AM, the phone rings!!  It is Drew and he wants to come home.  I said “No!”  Could I have changed the outcome?  I doubt it but I have asked that of myself over and over these last eighteen years.  Drew’s last words to me that night have carried me, “We’ve had the greatest night of our lives!”  Yes, it turns out they had. 

Drew asked to speak to his girlfriend Erin so I called for her.  I never spoke to Jeremiah that morning but could hear his excited chatter in the background as I was talking to Drew.  Erin was the last one to speak to either of the boys…ever.  I know that was meant to be.

In a little over an hour, it will be Drew’s eighteen/eighteen.  At that point, both Drew and Jeremiah will have been gone longer than they lived.  The same is true for Young Jim, for Denis and Peggy O’Connor, for so many of the children of my dearest friends.  None of them have been forgotten.  As Denis and Peggy’s mother, Elaine Stillwell says, “We have to sing their songs.”  I hope I have sung loud and clear these past eighteen years.

Memories…Drew crushing me in a bear hug only days before his death after he had just come out of the pool,  He was dripping wet  and loved getting me just as wet!!  How many times I have played that back in my mind.  His smile as he came toward me that day will sustain me…until…that glorious day.  Jeremiah sitting on my desk in my drugstore only weeks before his death telling me he would never drive, never have a car…the look on his face will haunt me…until…that glorious day.  I know he “knew” that his time on this physical plane was short. 

Drew and Jeremiah have been around us this week.  We saw three red Miatas on Tuesday.  Later that same day, we were walking on the beach and passed a young man wearing a McCallie t-shirt.  A favorite song of Jeremiah’s by Annie Lennox came on while I was reading at the beach on Wednesday.  Today Luther and I rode our bikes all over the island, one of Drew and Jeremiah’s favorite things to do.  Tomorrow will not be a sad day.  It will be a day to remember two very special young men.   

Love, 

Mom

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Dearest friends,

Yes, Drew and Jeremiah were remembered on Thursday so many times that day just as others are remembering young Jim today.

These young people will always be remembered with a smile. Thank you for all you do to be sure our chldren are not forgotten.

Lots of hugs to all,
Dinah

Comment by Dinah

Part of getting over it is realizing that you will never totally get over it.

Comment by The Sanity Inspector

On Saturday, June 5, 2011, I will be ‘celebrating’ the 29th birthday of my best friend Cassie. And in September of this same year will be her 5 year death anniversary, along with the 4 year anniversary of my big sister Mandie. As well, September 29 would be Mandie’s 35th birthday. I have found your story, along with your pictures, very inspiring. It is so hard to let go and move on when no one really understands. So I have been lucky enough to have an awesome support group, For the Love of Christi, and people like you, who share your stories. Even though it has been years, my heart still aches, especially on anniversaries. I just want to say THANK YOU. For reaching out to others, letting them know that life will go on, and it will get better. Now I know that I am a zebra in a world full of giraffes, and one day, someone close to me will experience the same kind of loss, and I know that they will come to me, and I can hold and comfort them, just as I have been during my time of grief.

I leave this message and my sincere gratitude to you, and others like you, in honor and memory of Cassandra Jean and Mandie Lynn.

Comment by Paige




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