Five Years

Oct. 15th, 2008 08:30 pm
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Five years ago, my brother Joe died.

Five years.

I had only just moved to Tennessee...we moved on Labor Day and six weeks later I got the phone call at 1 am that changed my life forever.

And, I am ashamed to say...I forgot that today was the day.

Completely, utterly forgot.

Busy with work, I'm in charge of organizing "Boss's Day" tomorrow, we have a new team member, planning the anniversary trip...yadda yadda yadda.

I can't believe that I is the day my big little brother finally found peace...

It's not that I don't think about him...and often. He still visits me in my dreams sometimes. I have a small shrine with some of his ashes, a photo of the family and a couple of his small knick-knacks.

His memory is no longer a gaping, open's more of an endless ache. A pain which is there, in the background, like a bruise or a scrape. Not too noticeable until you probe it and it flares up to remind you it's still there. That happens to me a couple of times a month.

I should have remembered without having to be reminded. I'm ashamed of myself.

Here's the video slide show I made the year after he died.

Please go and hug your loved ones right now...don't wait. Tell them you love them. You never know when it will be for the last time. The one thing I'm so thankful for is that the very last thing I ever said to my brother was "I love you. Drive safe."

I still love him. I still miss him.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I forgot

Oct. 15th, 2006 04:29 pm
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That if you play the video I embedded you can't see the response link. Duh. Here is the other vid I was talking about.

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My sweet brother Joe.

Fair warning to my family members: There is this video and another linked to it as well. They WILL make you cry.

Eagle Cam

Apr. 27th, 2006 09:05 pm
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This is the coolest link ever. A camera focused on an eagle's nest. The eagle has two eggs and according the site, they should be hatching sometime in the next few days. I am fascinated. They have the camera on all day, then rerun the day's film when the eagles are sleeping at night.

Can't wait to see the babies!

This is something my late brother Joe would have loved to watch. He adored Bald Eagles and at one time had quite a collection of figurines.

Happy Birthday, Joe. I still miss you and I think of you every day.
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My brother Joe visited me last night in a dream. It was an unusual dream in that hubby was a waiter in a posh restaurant and we lived in a duplex with new neighbors. First I was with hubby at the job and said I hadn't been to the restaurant in ages and would he mind if I came in for dinner that night. He said no and I checked with the maitre d' and since it was Good Friday they didn't expect to be busy. So then I walked home (!!! I think this is because yesterday I did a looot of walking) with a friend of mine who is in my training class. We lived on seperate streets, so we split up and went our own way. I found myself in a neighborhood that looked a lot like Wilton Manors, Florida which is where I used to live. Only the Wilton Manors I lived in didn't have this humongous "college of lighting and special effects" in the neighborhood. Yeah, that was strange.

So anyway, I get "home" and the neighbors have about a dozen or so folding chairs on the shared porch. I remember thinking that the landlord is going to have a fit. Just as I'm about to open my front door, the neighbors open theirs and they are talking about how the landlord has already spoken to them about the chairs. (I'm not sure but this bit might have something to do with where we live now. We have new neighbors who have small children and their bikes and toys are scattered all over the shared breezeway and under the stairs.) They mention that she'll just have to get over it until after their dinner party and then they turn to me and say something like "or we'll just have to smite them with our mighty sword of +10 power" or something like that. I laugh and join in the banter by offering my "Level 15 Royal Elf" to assist. They laugh and invite me in and when I go, there is brother Joe sitting at their table eating pie and ice cream. I sit down next to him and we chat. He says something about how good the pie is and says he's doing fine. I tell him I miss him and wish I could see him more often. He just grins his goofy grin and goes back to eating his pie.

Then I woke up.

I think he came to visit because he knows he's been on my mind lately since his birthday is coming soon. What do you all think?

I hope he knows how very much he is missed.
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Joe Brown

(song by Josh Groban)
Remember, I will still be here
As long as you hold me, in your memory

Remember, when your dreams have ended
Time can be transcended
Just remember me

I am the one star that keeps burning, so brightly,
It is the last light, to fade into the rising sun

I'm with you
Whenever you tell, my story

Remember, I will still be here
As long as you hold me, in your memory
Remember me

I am the one voice in the cold wind, that whispers
And if you listen, you'll hear me call across the sky

As long as I still can reach out, and touch you
Then I will never die

Remember, I'll never leave you
If you will only
Remember me

Remember me...

Remember, I will still be here
As long as you hold me
In your memory

Remember, when your dreams have ended
Time can be transcended
I live forever
Remember me*

Dear Joe,
I miss you. I think of you often. Every ZZ Top, AC/DC or Lynard Skynard song I hear makes me think of you. I wish you hadn't left us so soon. I hope that, still see us--you still visit us--you still love us. It is still so hard, being here, wondering what happened...why you had to leave.
I guess I'll never know...unless there really is an "after" life and I am fortunate enough to see you again.
There's a "Joe-shaped" hole in my heart. And there always will be.
I love you.
Your sister,

I couldn't find out who wrote these lyrics, if someone knows, tell me and I'll edit to add the writer's name.
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A Tribute on your 45th Birthday.

My brother Joe would have been 45 years old today. I still miss him so much, I cannot tell you how large a chasm his passing has left in my life. I couldn't let this day go by without acknowledging my "big" little brother.

Behind the cut is a picture tribute along with the essay I wrote the night I found out about his death.

Happy Birthday, dear Brother

Memories )

I will miss you forever.
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As you know, last weekend my husband and I went to visit my dad in north-central Florida. My dad had invited the whole family to be there for the internment of my brother's ashes and the dedication of the site of the internment. This entry is to show you some photos of the site, some of the family and a couple of the poems which were read at the dedication.

Joe's_Place )

Cut so those with a slow connection don't curse me for all the photos! You have been warned!
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Damn. Time does keep rolling on, no matter what happens. It was a year ago that my dear brother died. I wanted to acknowledge the day this is what I wrote last year after I found out about Joe.

The funny thing about phone calls...

Sometimes they are for wonderful reasons...someone getting married, having a house, new puppy (or kitten). Maybe it is a vacation you took you want to tell someone about, or the movie you saw last week. Maybe it is because your favorite baseball team won the championship and is going for the big one.

Or. Maybe not.

Maybe it's 1:00 in the morning.

1:00 in the morning is NEVER a good time to get a phone call.

Especially when it's your father. And he's telling you that your brother is dead. Now, instead of four, we are three. It used to be: Cathy, Joe, Beth and Jeff. Now it's just Cathy, Beth and Jeff.

I am in shock, I think. I freaked out a bit after hanging up with Dad...Gregory was here of course, and held me...then I called my mom...Dad had called her first...

She's in shock too. She knew more than I did. He was house sitting for his landlady while she was in the hospital or something. When she got home, the door was locked, she couldn't get in. She called my Dad, he said "Call the police". She did. They came and
broke in--and found him. Dad said he was sitting in the chair, and had been dead for at least a couple of days. (We found out later it was more like a week. One blessing, it was a peaceful death. He just went to sleep.)

My brother was a tortured soul. He had addiction won't surprise me to find out he died from an accidental (or on purpose, who knows?) overdose. He was such a big lug... he had a fantastic personality (when he was sober) and was a kind, loving person. He had so much love to give, and unfortunately, never found love in this lifetime. I
think the worst thing is knowing he died alone...except for his cat and the landlady's dog.

That's definately the worst thing. I wish he hadn't been alone.

But he had chosen to be alone for a lot of his adult life, isolating himself from everyone in the family...when he did come to events, he would come early and leave early...almost like he was trying to escape. We tried to help dad even came down
to Ft. Lauderdale two years ago and moved him up to Ocala and in with him...

Joe had finally (everyone thought) gotten enough help so he could once again be on his own. He was in a trailer, had a car, a cat...but...he found more drugs.

I guess he needed the drugs more than he needed us.

I'm going to miss him so much. We had a joke...I was the oldest, but soon, he was the tallest. So I took to calling him my "big" brother. I can't believe this has happened...I knew it was going to happen.

I have to call my kids tomorrow. No sense waking them up tonight. My son will be devestated. I have to try to time it so his g/f is there when he finds out. My daughter will take it easier, she wasn't as close to Joe as Adam was. (I was wrong, Amanda cried.)

I hate talking about my brother in the past tense. But I will have to from now on, won't I?

I wish there was someone I felt comfortable calling at this time of night. But...those who don't know yet (due to answering machines with cryptic messages to call Dad right away) should be allowed to sleep the sleep of the innocent for one more day. Soon enough
to have tomorrow ruined.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now. Better sign off. I love every one of you people, probably more than you know, and definately more than I've ever said before.

I hope my brother has finally found the peace he couldn't get in life. I miss him already.

Albert Joseph "Joe" Brown III 1960-2003


And I still miss him. Every day. There's a Joe-shaped hole in my heart. The family is gathering at my Dad's house next weekend to inter his ashes in a grave on my Dad's property...the place I think my brother was the happiest. I have to stop now because I'm going to cry.


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