Friday, November 21

siblings


Today would be my brother's 28th birthday. Forgive me for writing about it again, but it tends to be an emotional day for all the members of my family, and it's where all my spare thoughts are today. I don't talk about these things much, mostly for fear of making people uncomfortable, but the written word is easier because I can't see you squirming in your seats. You can relax though, I'm not going to cry cyber tears.


I don't visit the cemetery where Peter is buried very often--mostly because it's a 45 minute drive from my home. But that long drive, the thing that hinders frequent visits, is the same thing that makes the visits more worthwhile. That drive gives me time to think about my brother, to think about his life and the way he was. One of the fears for people who lose loved ones is that other people will forget that person as time goes by. And while that may or may not happen, there are several people who will never forget Peter. I am one of those people. With time I may forget some of his mannerisms or the sound of his laugh, but I will never forget the essence of who he was, who he still is. And so on my drive I think about his kindness, his sense of humor, his love of music, and his love for people. My thoughts eventually turn from his old life to his life now. I wonder what he's doing and what he's like. Does he know we miss him? Does he miss us or is his perspective beyond that? There are so many unknowns, that someday will be made clear.

But one thing is clear to me. I want my kids to have what I had--what I still have with my other siblings. I want them to be kind to each other, I want them to be best friends. I want them to have fun together, to lean on each other, and to want to be together for eternity.


While I'm not 100% sure how to develop this relationship, Jeremy and I are trying. And I think so far, we've done a pretty good job. It warms my heart to no end to see Alexis and Tyler play together, or even fight together, as long as they are interacting with each other. No relationship is perfect, but most are worth working on. Especially when there is so much potential to learn and grow from another person, and I hope someday my kids understand that.


And if Peter is by chance keeping on eye on us, I'd just like to say, Sorry for the pink flowers, Alexis picked them out. But actually, you kind of like them don't you?

Some of you reading this knew Peter, and if you feel so inclined and want to share a memory of him, I know my whole family would love to hear them. If not, that's fine too. Sometimes memories are sacred.

16 comments:

Mary said...

This is very sweet. I too had an older brother die (when I was in high school) and on Sunday we just celebrated what would have been his birthday with my entire family. It's been 14 years now and I can still picture his mannerisms, his smile, and sometimes even hear his voice and laugh- so just know that you'll hold onto those things for a while. Also, with the passing of time, I have noticed that the memories become less difficult and sad, and more warm and fun to remember.

I just want to say too, that through some spiritual experiences that my family has had, I know without a doubt that those who have passed on are very aware of the loved ones that they have left behind and that they are still a part of our lives.

Anonymous said...

lisa, thanks for the beautiful post. and for sharing the pictures of the grave. and for teaching your kids about uncle peter. i love you.
mom

Ashlee said...

Peter really was an amazing person and I cherish those moments that I got to spend with him. One memory I have of him is the sincerity in his voice when he would talk about his family. I know he would share and does share the same sentiments about siblings that you did. Thanks for the post.

Lisa said...

Thanks for that Ashlee.

And Mary thanks for telling me that. It makes me feel a lot better!

The Shill Spill said...

Thanks Lis!
Although I did not know your brother, I wish I had. Through knowing you, and the things that you have to say, and the way in which you speak of him warms my heart. And, even though I never wish for someone to loose a loved one, I know that no matter what you will hold your brother so close to your heart that no one would even know he had passed on...unless you tell them. Thank you for sharing with us what is so important and sacred to you...family

Kevin said...

I think about Peter a lot. He was an exceptional person. I know some people tend to make those who have passed seem greater than they really were, but Peter really was amazing. I first met him during Freshman year at BYU. I remember how he would spend hours on the phone with his family. He would always start conducting to his classical music, I think because he knew I didn't like it and he thought it was funny to taunt me. After he returned from his mission he seemed so calm and at peace, but I didn't hang out with him as much as I should have. Whenever I think about him I am convinced he is working hard as a missionary on the other side of the veil.

Rachel said...

Well You Might not have cried cyber tears lisa, but I came close to the real thing. You did voice one of my fears, and that was forgetting things about Peter. We weren't around eachother a lot for the last 6 years of his life, because of college and his mission. But I remember him calling every sunday, like clock work to talk to us. I remember he eventually called before or after Alias was on, because I wouldn't talk during Alias. The fact that he would do that, I mean, he cared enough to talk to me, to bend to my will. Thank You for going to his grave, I wish I had been able to do that. And I think Alexis and Tyler will develop that relationship with no problems. They already love eachother so much. They may fight, but you can tell how much they care for eachother. You and Jeremy and amazing parents, you may doubt yourselves at times, but just look at the product of your hard work, your kids. You can tell they learn from you.

Dorothy said...

I want to leave a Peter memory. I'm sitting here trying to think of a good one, and there are many, but they mostly involve all that warsh high school relationship stuff, like swapping his pillow for my blanket when you guys went out of town and i'd sleep on that pillow every night and smell the wonderful Peter smell. Haha, that was great. In fact i think i can still remember how it smelled. We left about a million page long notes in each other scriptures during seminary. How about trying to hold hands AND drive a stick shift at the same time. Oh, and then there was the time we went to some Lakeridge event, and afterwards there was a cassett tape left for us on Peters car. It was clearly created by Kole and Aaron and its purpose was clearly to get us in the mood for a first kiss. I can't remember specifically what the content was. But we did listen to it and I do believe that was the night of our first kiss. Hubba hubba. Ok, is that enough ooey gooey? I'll stop. And PS Lisa I'm happy to talk or listen about Peter any time. Stuff like that doesn't make me squirmy at all.

Karly said...

What a sweet post Lisa. I love the picture of Alexis putting flowers on Peter's grave, so sweet. I know her and Tyler will be great friends, and also hear a lot about their great uncle Peter. I know many more people have more memories of Peter than I do, but the few that I do have, are great. He was truly an exceptional person and you didn't have to know him very long to see that. He was so incredibly nice and genuine. He was so accepting and non judgmental. I could see all that from knowing him for such a short time. He didn't know me that well, but he knew that I loved your family, and he made me feel so comfortable. I agree with Kevin, he is doing the Lord's work on the other side of the veil - he was and still is a valiant servant.

Trent said...
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Cindy said...

Lisa,
Thank you for sharing this post. You are such a special daughter-in-law and a wonderful wife for Jeremy. Alexis and Tyler are blessed to have you for their mother. I know how much you love Peter, Aaron and Rachel and I also now know a little more about losing a brother. I know they watch us and are very aware of us. Heavenly Father has a beautiful plan and we are so blessed to be part of it.
We so love you!
Mom

Merrick said...
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Merrick said...

I want to say thanks for sharing this too. Maybe you knew, but my little brother passed away about 8 years ago, and I feel the same way as Mary. As time goes on, you can laugh about the times we spent in the hospital, and the huge scar on the back of his head from brain surgery, and all the other scary-at-the-time things. Right after he passed away, my dad began writing a book. It's probably about 150 pages long, filled with memories of his birth, life, cancer, surgery, struggles, and then passing. It still makes me emotional to read through it, but it's a great thing to have. My dad sometimes reads through it and is reminded of things that he's already forgotten. I see Peter passed away about 5 years ago, so already some of those memories might be slipping away. I'd encourage you, if you haven't already, to write as many memories of him as you can, just so in 20 or 30 years you will remember little things that you'd otherwise forgotten. Also, your kids will get to know him in a personal way as well. My other brother was only 4 when he passed away, so he loves reading the book and trying to remember our little guy.

Thanks again for your nice post.

Merrick said...
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Rachel said...

I also remember how kind Peter was and willing to help everyone. I remember the Thanksgiving of 2002 when I went with you and Jeremy and Peter to Honeyville and stayed at your Grandma's house over Thanksgiving. I had this ridiculously huge paper due for a history class (actually I think it was already past due at that point...) and I brought all the books and papers I had to fill out as research. Peter sat there for hours and helped me fill them out because he know how stressed I was about it. He would make me dinner when I was super tired (probably from staying up too late with him :) I also remember Peter wiring some money to a man that he baptized on his mission because the man (Ginadi?) was going through a tough financial situation. I really didn't know Peter all that long, but these are some of the awesome things I remember about him.

Danelle said...

Hey Lisa-
It has been awhile since I have looked at your blog and it is so cute. I read your post about Peter, and lets just say- I haven't cried this much in a long time. Your pictures are so sweet. Peter was such a great guy! I remember listening (in amazement)as he played the piano. I remember going over to your house to hang out, and Peter was always so nice- even though we probably bugged him. =) You have such a great family! I loved being next door neighbors for all those years!