I don’t always remember the significance of this date

This year I realized (in bright colors) that it is the 10th anniversary of my brother’s death. I frequently call him The Engineer here. He was a mechanical engineer who parlayed a life-long love affair with automotive vee-hickles and their engines into a successful career with General Motors. I’m not going to say much about the surreal day of his death. I will say that he suffered from a chronic illness (and its associated treatment) but, although in hindsight I believe he knew he didn’t have very many more days on earth, the rest of us were a bit surprised. Here is my blahg entry on that day:

I was going to write something lame today. But life threw a goddamn curve ball and I can’t do that. Goodbye, Jim, my brother, my only sibling. That is all I can say for now. I am speechless for once. And I am peering through the fog trying to find a space of solid, dry land on which to put one foot. Siberia tomorrow, bright and early…

Early the next morning, I flew the Dogha (Dirty Old Green Honda Accord) up to the yooperland to pick up my shattered parents and taxi them down here for a funeral that we had to draaaaaag my dad into. I swam in Gitchee Gumee the afternoon I got up there to pick them up and later, back at the Dillon House, reruns of The Munsters blared on the TV as we cobbled some sort of dinner together. The Commander soldiered on into the future for another bunch of years but my old coot died nine months later. Shattered pelvis or broken heart? Both plus advanced age of course but still…

I still can’t put into words the conflicted feelings I’ve had over the last 10 years, losing my only [younger] sibling, then both my parents and my beloved aunt Radical Betty and some really ugly stuff. During that time, I re-invented myself by going back to school and embarking on a new (and successful) career. And people say 20-somethings have it hard [wink]! Always move forward, even if some days yield only the teensiest tinsiest wee bit of progress. If the proverbial Black Dog is after you, TAKE A WALK / RUN / BIKE / SKI / KAYAK / CLIMB / WHATEVER! GO OUTSIDE! Reconnect with friends and cousins and play with your fun in-laws. And BTW, Make love, not war. You WILL feel better.

I am getting on the edge of being maudlin and I am really not feeling that way after this beautiful rainy but productive day on The Planet Ann Arbor. So here are some random photos of The Engineer (and others, even yer fav-o-rite blahgger) throughout the years, not necessarily in any order.








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3 Responses to “I don’t always remember the significance of this date”

  1. Margaret Says:

    A lovely post and beautifully written. A tribute to Jim to be proud of. xoxo

  2. Tonya Says:

    Wonderful post, Anne.

    (And I’ve now corrected my email address — my old one keeps auto-appearing!)

  3. Pooh Says:

    I was thinking of Jim and the July 4th parade a few weeks ago. The pre-schoolers had made cars from cardboard boxes,(with help of course), and were parading around the school. I couldn’t tell if the cars had proper taillights or not. <3!