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In Memory of a Great Brother

December Anniversary 2005

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December Anniversary 2005
Eye Donation Speech - Oct 30th, 2005
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In Memorial

Broken Reminders

When a loved one dies, we do everything we can to hold on to them. We keep their clothes and check for their smell or listen to tapes to hear their voice. The reminders can be painful or therapeutic, it all depends on the person. Sometimes, it’s all we have and it’s what we need to get through the day.

When my mother-in-law died, she left behind jars of jam. One of which sits in our cupboard, and will stay there until it is no longer necessary. Right now it brings comfort and a little reminder of the woman who loved to cook. Her writing is on the jar along with the date and type of jam. And for that reason, neither my husband nor I are willing to throw it out even though after 6 years, it is probably not edible anymore!

When Nate died, we clung to what we had left. Many of us asked for pieces of his clothing to keep or to wear. My brother inherited his tools, his car and his cell phone. My sister had a ring made with his birthstone in lieu of a class ring. Whatever we had that reminded us of him was cherished. My mom gave me some of his clothes for Brian to wear. And Brian wears them, a lot! Every time I see him wear the red FOX sweatshirt I remember Nate.

Unfortunately, over time, objects tend to break, or deteriorate or just plain fall apart. Along with the use of these things comes the fact that things can not last forever. Sam has lost her ring. Scott got in a car accident. Brian accidentally tore Nate’s leather jacket. The jar of jam is now too old to be used. In time, the "stuff" will have to be replaced. Nothing is meant to last forever.

But while we had them, these objects fulfilled a purpose. They kept us connected to our loved one. It got us through some of our darkest days while we wondered if life would ever be the same again without them here. These "things" lasted until we were strong enough to get through the day, week or year. And then what we learned is that our loved one was more than the objects they left behind. The memories they created while here with us are what matters the most. As much as it may hurt us to pick out a new ring, or replace a car, or buy a new jacket, it is also part of the healing process. Nothing is meant to live forever. And sometimes, when we stop clinging to the things they left behind, we start to see all the little signs of them around us today. I notice how my son acts just like Nate. How my brother talks just like Nate. How my sister loves hockey, just like Nate. These are the things I cling to now. These are the things that matter. And every day, especially at this time of year, we remember that we are blessed to have had a chance to make those memories and to love that person so much, that long after their passing they are still a huge part of our lives.

Just Because
By Raivennette

Dedicated to Gary Charles Battle
Brother of Brian Lamont Battle
November 07, 1975 - August 27, 1995

Just because I no longer
stand in front of your eyes
doesn't mean you can't see me.

Close them,
I am there.

Just because I no longer
answer when you call my name
doesn't mean you can't hear me.
Speak softly, listen carefully,
there is my voice.

Just because I can no longer
touch your hands
doesn't mean you can't feel me.
Hold on to another,
my arms are there.

Just because I am no longer there
to show you I love you
doesn't mean my love is gone.
Place your hand on your heart,
feel its beat.
I am there.

Know that I am with God.

Know that God is with you.

And in that we are still with each other.

Just because...