Monday, January 14, 2013

Out of the mouths of babes

On Friday as my mom was recovering from her gallbladder surgery, she showed me something my brother wrote for school after asking if he had sent it to me (he hadn't), and with the warning and some hesitation that it "might make me sad". I read it, and cried, but it was a good cry. Then I made a copy of it and brought it home to Joe and he read it and cried too. One of his teacher's comments on the assignment was that it made her cry too. Anyway, I'm going to share a big chunk of it here, going to keep most of his errors as they are although fix the ones I really can't stand to leave as is. I'm impressed, my brother was 13 when Olivia died (and he never "met" her or held her or anything,) he wrote this recently as a 16 year old. I'm really glad my mom found it and shared it with us.


Standing by my brother, we drifted toward the plaza. As we walked, rain hit the top of my head and I felt it soaking into my hair and clothes. The sky was a dark gray color and casted a gloomy feeling over us. It was almost like the sky was mourning with our family. We passed a row of tombstones one by one, as if it were an endless sea.

The ceremony began. The priest began talking; his speech was short but powerful. At the end he said Olivia might not have had much time on this earth, but she still felt the love and care from her parents in God's kingdom. In the center where she was sat a small coffin painted white with flowers resting on it.

Everyone mourned with my sister and brother in law. I knew my brother in law almost my whole life, and I have never seen him cry before. I always saw him as one of those strong hearted men that didn't let anything get to him. That's why it shocked me to see him so distraught and destroyed. I couldn't even imagine the pain he and my sister were going through, but I still felt their pain and mourned with them. People shook his hand, so i thought I would do the same. When I attempted to, he said "Come here Buddy", and I could feel the pain in his voice. It was as if he had been stabbed in the back; I could feel the sting of the cut. He then embraced me with a hug and I hugged him back. My sister was also crying; the feeling of sorrow was overwhelming and felt as if it were suffocating me. It was the worst feeling I ever felt, because I had never experienced such a tragic event in my life.

As I stood there, I realized I would never forget this day, and that this day would leave a permanent scar on my memory. I then said a prayer and bowed my head. I prayed for my sister and brother in law, and my niece that was taken away too soon from this earth. The ceremony was then over and my family and I lingered back to the car. We got in the car and left Jefferson Barracks.


"Nick, do you want to hold your nephew?" I turned my head to see my sister holding her delicate new baby.
I replied, "Yes, I would love to."
"Hold him like a football," my brother in law instructed me. My sister passed her baby to me and I rested him in my arms awkwardly. He was so tiny and fragile. I examined his face,and he was in a deep slumber. Occasionally he would stretch or yawn and move his tiny arms and hands.
"Nick why are you holding him so weird?" questioned my dad.
"It's the first time he has held a baby, so give him a break." My sister said, defending me.
"Nick, how does it feel to be an uncle?" asked my sister. I searched for an answer in my mind. I never really thought about it before.
"It feels good I guess. I'm finally not the baby of the family."
"Alright Nick, we need to leave and let them rest, " said my dad.

I passed Luke back to my sister. My dad then lectured my sister on getting enough sleep and not doing anything straining. We lingered by the door and said goodbye to her and the rest of my family. My dad walked out the door, and I took a final glance around the room. For the first time in a long time everyone seemed happy. That feeling never happens enough and never lasts very long. It was as if we took a break from the world and all its problems. On that final thought, I slid out the door and down the hallway. I couldn't help thinking about the tiny white casket from almost two years ago.


Brooke said...

Oh my gosh. Now I'm crying in my office at work. It's just such a validation to know that your loss and Olivia's short life have affected other people who love her as well. What a sweet Uncle Nick.

Kim said...

Oh Angie, what a sweet sweet boy. A true treasure.

Lauren said...

Wow. What a window in.

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