Today has been 13 years since Chubs died. Will this be a lucky year? Chubs was the first to pass from our immediate family. There are times when scents or songs take you to a moment with your loved one gone. I know when I smell Chantilly powder, it takes me right to my sweet mom. I can see her sitting in her rocking chair with that gentle smile. Or if I hear REO’s “Keep on Loving You”, I’m that little girl standing on her big brother’s bed while Jim serenades me. I don’t have a scent or song that takes me to Chubs. For a brief moment, that stung. Now…don’t get me wrong when I hear “Go Rest High on That Mountain”, I think of Chubs, but only because that was his funeral song. That’s not a good memory. That song randomly came on the radio Friday night when I was waiting in my car for my pal. Is Chubs reaching out to me? Tears poured as I sat there. I hurried to clear my face so it wouldn’t show when my buddy got in the car.
While I don’t have a particular scent or song, I do have moments. Like the time Chubs, Jim and his wife Angie, and I went to the Kentucky State Fair to see Hank, Jr. Chubs was a rule follower to a T. I had to pee so dang bad and he wouldn’t stop. I had a cup in the car and said I would just pee in it. He freaked about getting pulled over and I would be bare-ass naked with my seatbelt off. When we got parked in the super crowded lot, my sil held up a shirt in front of the window so I could go. I could not walk because of the pain. Poor Chubs hurriedly walked away with embarrassment. So many years after, and even on the night Chubs died, Jim and I laughed until we cried about that day.
There’s another time back in 1998, Chubs gave me his ticket to Lilith Fair music festival. After Sheryl Crow backed out, he said I could take a friend. We were supposed to go together. As my friend and I were there attending this all day music festival, something seemed a bit odd. While the concert was awesome and we saw amazing artists perform, we soon figured things. Leslie and I were the only two females not together. Hmm… This was a girl girl festival. And as Seinfeld would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with it.” Chubs left that detail off of this. The next day I called him. His response, “I thought you knew.” Well…that explained why three girls sat down on the hillside with us talking forever, and asking weird questions. Leslie and I just thought they were drunk.
I also remember my first River Run race. That was a big deal to run across the bridge, in which I have a fear of drowning. Chubs, the quiet soul he was, on the night before the race made sure I had proper carb loading as he heard what runners needed. The next day he dropped me off super early so I could ride the bus to the starting line…and he quietly waited for me at the finish line. He didn’t congratulate me or show an ounce of excitement. That wasn’t his nature. But he was there. That was his nature. He was always quietly there.
Yeah…those are moments that take me back to Chubs. Some I still laugh about when I think of them. Others warm my heart and makes me miss his gentle, quiet soul. Moments are memories.
I recently read about a man who lost his wife and son to AIDS many years ago. He talked about grief and how people on the outside who never experienced a loss sometimes say the worst things. “Are you still grieving?” “You need to let go” “You need to move on”. I have had this one said to me… “Chubs would not want you crying over him.”
There is no ‘still’ in grieving. I will ALWAYS grieve. My heart will forever miss Chubs, my sweet Mom, and other big brother, Jim. I will never let go. I will never move on. Life goes on, but life is really hard. Grieving my losses are the reality that help me get through each day. There is not a day that goes by that Chubs doesn’t come to mind at least once a day, even for a moment. I talk about him, and my other loved ones, any chance I get. Primarily I talk to myself because I carry my grief inside. Ancient Egyptians believe a person never really dies until you stop saying their name. I will never stop. CHUBS! MOMA! JIM!
People assume with circle of life, order of deaths are grandparents > parents > siblings. It’s never in that order. My dad has watched two sons and the love of his life die. My mom held her baby boy when he was brought into this world and then 38 years later, she held him as he left this world. Damnit. I watched my mom AND my two brothers leave me. It’s not fair. I’m supposed to have my siblings for a long time. However, that was not God’s plan. I’ll never understand. I’m not happy, but I’ll accept.
Today’s blog was just a chance to express that moments are memories, even the shortest moments you have with someone special. I’m hoping this is lucky number 13 to bring good things to me in Chubs’ honor. Never be ashamed of grief, even if you’re like me who tends to cry alone. Life is hard.
Peace Out, Trout!