Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I moved to South Lima 14 years ago, about this time of year. It is smaller than a small town, only a few dozen houses, surrounded by farms, dogs all around. I was working in a small studio behind the house, so I was home almost all the time. I got to know the neighbors pretty quickly.

Sam lived a couple doors up. I went to highschool with his wife. His sister and her husband are across the street from us. When I first met him I thought, Are people really that nice? And it turned out, yes, he really was that nice. Possibly the nicest person I've ever known. He worked as a tree trimmer for the power company, and farmed the fields behind his house. He was a worker if I've ever seen one. But his real interest seemed to be taking care of his family and their home. And his dogs.

He was killed tragically a couple days before Thanksgiving. An accident. He had walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding only ten days before. Darby and I went to the calling hours, and the funeral the next day. Grief. Proof of the value of family and community. It is fortunate for all of them they are a large close family. I don't think it will change the pain, but share it.

I'm not sure why I decided to write about this. To honor Sam. To honor my brother.

We lost my brother over twenty years ago. Another accident. I understand the pain Sam's family is feeling, and hope they can come to terms with it. It never really goes away.

I miss my brother all day, every day.

In the season ahead, please remember all those you love, and make sure they know it. Life is fragile, precious, and all too brief.

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