Two-Years and a mo(u)rning

It’s 2:30 in the morning in Chicago right now and I stupidly decided to have a caffinated drink before going to bed – I just had a craving for it.  And so, I figured it’d be better for me to make a post and reflect on my recent visit to Boston, rather than tossing and turning in bed.

So, it’s been a little over a couple of hours since the two year anniversary of Eddie’s passing.  I was able to make it out to see Eddie yesterday (it was a beautiful day as it usually is whenever I go to visit him), where I spent my time cleaning around his area and telling him all the thoughts that would pop into my mind.  I believe he can comprehend the things I write about and speak aloud, but also the thoughts in my head.

It’s never difficult for me to want to go and see Eddie at any moment.  I cherish the time I actually get to be where he lays.  Even though I know he’s always around the ones he cares about/care for him, it brings a different level of solace visitng where he physically rests.  Today was no different.

As I was nearing the end of my visit with Eddie, I couldn’t help but step back and absorb the view before me.  I was in a cemetary with Eddie’s tombstone directly in front of me and others laid aside of him.  The emotion that had befallen onto me for a brief moment was acceptance of what’s happened two years ago through now.  I believe acceptance of what’s occured used to scare me, because I thought it would mean the end of my strength to stay put together, but I realize it doesn’t mean that at all.  Though I can’t say I fully (or even majorly) accept these events, I know it doesn’t mean the end.

As I stated during Eddie’s wake two years ago, “my ambition, my motivation, and my success will all be in the name of Eddie.”  I don’t forsee myself steering away from this path.

Post Thanksgiving Thoughts

Another holiday has come by and another one is just around the corner.  I know it can’t be helped but to think about the loved ones we’ve lost during this time (any time, really).  This year when my family gathered at my parent’s home it was all too easy to see the reminiscent images of my own brother running around the house through the years.  Though the images brought some heartache to myself, ultimately I’m happy I have them and can share them with those around me now.

i implore each and every visitor of this site to do the same.  Please allow your loved one to be immortalized here.

Warm Tribute’s One Year Approaching

Warm Tribute is about to reach it’s one-year anniversary on November 27, 2007.  It’s been a very good year and Warm Tribute is progressing at a steady pace.  Throughout the year I have received testimonials from users of this site on how beneficial they feel it is for them.  I truly never expected any kind of feedback such as that, but it truly warms my heart to hear it.  When I first conceived the idea of Warm Tribute, it was mainly aimed at helping my family, Eddie‘s friends, and myself.  I’m really happy to know it’s been worthwhile for some of you out there as well.

Thank you so much for all your support.

Catch up

I don’t believe Eddie and I called each other on a regular basis.  It was typically whenever either one of us felt it was time to simply catch up, or to find out details of the holidays that were coming up.  However, there were periods where we would call each other a few times a week just to chat and see what’s new.

Typically, it would be me calling him multiple times a week attempting to get a hold of him, leave a message, wait for a call back, never receive one, and me having to call and leave a message again.  I don’t believe anyone would deny Eddie was a busy person, whether it was for work or to be with friends, so I understood his actions.

Occassionally, I find myself sitting in front of my laptop at home and looking over to my right, where the LCD picture frame Danny got me rotates photos of Eddie, and it dawns on me that I can’t simply call Eddie to catch up anymore.  Even now, after writing that last line, I had to take a pause and let reality set in.  It’s obviously never easy, but some way and some how I’m sure he knows what’s happening in my life, from the mostly mundane to the exciting.

The Apple iPhone

The subject may sound a bit misleading.  This entry has nothing to do with the new Apple iPhone, but what it represents.  Though this phone has its flaws and overlooked features, everyone agrees that it’s truly innovative and in my opinion will most likely become better with future generations.  But I digress.

The iPhone is so innovative that I can’t help but think about what Danny has mentioned to me before… Eddie will not be around to see these new technological advances.  I don’t even think the final product design was available while Eddie was in the hospital.  Sometimes it’s difficult to accept that the world doesn’t stop for a single person.  No matter how true that may be, I enjoy knowing that with my memories and my thoughts I can, in some way, keep Eddie’s presence moving forward as well.

One thing I know for sure is that Eddie would be very excited for the iPhone’s release.  He probably wouldn’t wait in line for it though, nor buy the first generation – unless it was a great deal. 

A Day Doesn’t Go By Where I Don’t Think About Him…

I never really took into consideration the emotional effect(s) the above quote expresses until Eddie passed away.  I would hear this being said by a few acquaintences, but mostly dialogue on television shows/movies.  When it was spoken I remember not thinking much of it, but just taking it as a part of a story and simply not very seriously. 

It’s interesting that now, when I hear/read this line, it brings me immediately to the thoughts of Eddie and now I can’t help but simply agree and feel compassion for others who have experienced such a loss.

There truly isn’t a day that goes by where Eddie isn’t in my thoughts.  I guess that’s all part of coping and it helps me feel like he’s still close, even if by a small degree.

Posting

A lot of times I’m sitting at home or in my office and I terribly want to write an entry into this online journal, but I just don’t know what to say.  Do I say something about Eddie? Do I talk about my day?  Do I just post random rubbish that crosses my mind?  And ultimately, I come back to the former.  This tribute, this entire site really, was created for Eddie and I felt as though I should be compelled to only write entries that are related to him.

Though I have a numerous thoughts about Eddie throughout the day, I can’t seem to express them well enough in words and so that leads me to not post anything at all.  So I thought about it some more.  Is it better to write something than nothing?  And I finally figured that, yes, it is.  My problem has been straigntening out the thoughts in my head, ranging from the mundane to thoughts about Eddie.  And so as i slowly release the mundane topics out of my mind, perhaps I can then put the feelings/memories of Eddie into words once again.

Writing is therapeutic…

The Dream

The post below was written on March 7, 2006 during the middle of a restless night.  It has been sitting in my laptop since then and I feel it is due time I share it.

I sit here in my bed tossing and turning with hundreds of thoughts passing through my mind.  This has been the case for a little over three months.  I have been meaning to write down my feelings for a while now, but every attempt in front of a computer led me to find new ways of distracting myself. Either that or my fingers would simply never find the right keys to press in order to express my thoughts.  I don’t know if I will be able to express my true feelings now, but I guess I will try.

I had no idea where to start, but I figured from the beginning is always a good choice.  So, on November 27th, my dear older brother Eddie passed away.  About three days later I had an amazingly vivid dream:

I find myself in a club with an approaching hurricane/storm/tornado/end of the world situation.  Everyone in the club is freaking out with no ideas on what to do.  I find myself attempting to run and hide under various booths, tables, chairs, anything that would conceal me.  Talks of cannibalization arise and I know I will be one of the first victims.  I begin to fear for my life and I realize this dream is starting to become a nightmare…

Suddenly, the scenery changes and I am in the passenger seat of my brother Eddie’s Volkswagen Jetta.  The driver is Eddie, dressed in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, wearing his newest pair of Armani glasses he was buried with.  He begins to drive out of his garage onto Commonwealth Avenue.  I begin to think selfishly about how I will need to return his digital camera and end up buying my own.  However, I quickly get ecstatic about seeing and being with Eddie again, that I instantly relinquish my selfish thoughts.

We drive through a short tunnel that brings us to this amazingly vibrant, peaceful, and clear green hilly pasture.  It is truly clear, the crystal clearest dream I have ever had. We are heading to pick apples or something.  Eddie begins to drive faster and faster and I can feel the force caused by the acceleration pressing up against my chest.  I turn to him and say, “woah, not so fast Eddie”.  He slows down and turns to me with a smirk, as if to jokingly tell me not to be such a wuss.  I quickly put on my seat belt and I tell him that it would be okay to drive as fast as he can now.  We pass up an unrecognizable (due to the speed we are going) gentleman in what I believe is in a black suit.

I am in ignorant bliss and I turn to Eddie to tell him “I hope this isn’t a dream.” Eddie turns to face me with slightly quivering lips and a discouraging look.  The look that expressed, “what am I going to do now?”

The scenery changes to a pitch black background with Eddie and I as the only two visible objects.  I cross my forearms atop of each other and my fists clenched, bracing myself for the truth.  Eddie grabs hold of my hands and says to me, “Just forget about me, and be careful.”

I awaken with my arms crossed as they were in my dream along with great warmth upon my hands.  I lift myself up by simply bending at the waist, while my legs lay dormant in front of me.  I call out to my oldest brother Danny who is asleep on the couch in front of me, so that I can relay my dream to him.

The actions and words of this particular dream may not seem very significant, but this was the most vivid dream I have ever had.  My cousin and my oldest brother both had dreams involving Eddie, with him wearing exactly the same thing, but not knowing each other had dreamt about it until later.  Ultimately, all of our dreams tell us that Eddie is okay and specifically for me, he doesn’t want to me to worry myself about his passing and wants me to take care of myself.
 

Marked as Unread

It’s close to 1am over here in Central time. And I felt it was time I cleaned out my E-mail Inbox. I had 251 “marked as unread” E-mails in my Outlook. All these E-mails were from just one night before Eddie had passed away to about a couple of weeks after I got back to Chicago. About half of them were spam and about a third of them was unrelated E-mails from friends. The rest were condolences.

I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to clean out my inbox. It always kind of irritated me that the inbox would indicate that I had new E-mail; when in reality it only contained E-mails from about a year ago. I guess I just didn’t want to deal with it. I didn’t want to go back to that period of time in any way or sense. However, I felt it was time to do it tonight.

The best I could do was delete the spam and mark the non-condolence E-mails as read. As I write this journal entry, I only re-read one of the condolence E-mails. This one was forwarded to me by Danny from his friend who went through a similar situation, but from a mother’s point of view.

In her E-mail she states, “Seeing Michael’s friends is bittersweet. I love seeing them and hearing about their families, but hate it because of what Michael will never experience. But the fact that his friends loved him so much and still do makes me proud and trumps not seeing them at all.” And I have to agree with her. By no means do I hate seeing any of you, but her last line really hit close to home. I’m really thankful that Eddie was able to touch each and every one of us and I’m also very ecstatic that you (and hopefully many more) have joined this tribute to him.

She also attaches a couple of poems that I would like to share with you all as well:

A love song – Author unknown

The mention of my child’s name
May bring tears to my eyes
But it never fails to bring
Music to my ears.
If you really are my friend
Please don’t keep me
From hearing the beautiful music
It soothes my broken heart
And fills my soul with love

I’d rather be ashes than dust – By Jack London

I’d rather be ashes than dust.
I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it shall be stifled by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every ebb of me a magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

Thank you all again for your time. There are still about 20 more E-mails that are marked unread, but I think I’ll let them sit in there a bit longer.