Saturday, November 29, 2008

Good Bye

This post has been a hard one to write. It has taken me several tries - how to share how I feel and my memories without sounding maudlin or overwrought. This post is dedicated to my cousins, the Morrows and especially to my late cousin, David Lendrum Morrow V.

This has been a busy 2 weeks. Rhiannon has had long rehearsals for the orchestra she is in playing for the production of "A Christmas Carol". I have been preparing for the Armstrong Farmers Christmas Market where I sold my peanut brittle and hats today. Amidst all that flurry of industry I learned of the loss of my cousin, David Morrow. I cried and cried when I found out. Hard to believe he is gone at only 46 years old and more than 20 years since I had last seen him. Then during all this activity, he has been there in the back of my mind - a surge of grief, a funny memory....

Although David is my second cousin, our families were close when I was growing up. For a time they lived in Prince George near us when I was very young. His younger brother, Michael, who is the same age as me, I loved from before I can remember loving anyone. He was like my own self. They left PG for Boise, Idaho and then Orem, Utah after only a year or two and we didn't see each other very often but anytime we did, he brings those same pure childish emotions of love and joy. It survived even all those stinky athletic socks he and Shawn would stuff in my pillow when I lived with them. David and his older sister, Sher were gods the way only kind older cousins can be. Our visits were not often as so many miles seperated our families but when we lived in Cranbrook and they in Idaho, we saw each other a little more often. I can remember Mikey laying in his sleeping bag on the floor beside my bed, asking me to sing him song after song. He thought my voice was beautiful...

When I finished high school, I went to live with the Morrows in Orem while I attended BYU in neighbouring Provo for the next two years. David was playing baseball for BYU and he drove me to and from school whenever he wasn't travelling with his team. In those 2 years he became an older brother I never had. He was a great example of me to unfailing kindness. He listened to my troubles - whether they were my skin struggling to adjust to the Utah dryness or boyfriend worries. He took me to my first (and only) college football game (BYU vs. Bowling Green - what kind of University name is that, anyways?). He took me out to A&W for the super thick milkshakes that preceded Blizzards and pointed out Steve Young to me who was the quarterback for BYU just before he took BYU to number one and was drafted for more than a million dollars. He nick-named me "Drea" - the only nickname that has ever stuck. (I used to call him "Vid" but I don't think that one stuck...)

The first two years I spent away from home, I spent with the Morrows. These were formative years for me. I was with them through the death of their mother to breast cancer. Sometimes I cringe at the thought of my insensitive, self-centred 19 year old self. I hope the memories of me have softened over the years... Mine of this time are only good. I shared a room with my two younger cousins, Melanie and Shannon, right beside Michael and Shawn who would listen with their ears pressed to the vent for me to discover their stinky socks inside my pillow case or who would call through it, begging me to come and rub their feet. But of course there is the time I accidentally died Shawn's jock strap pink in the wash so it all worked out....

And so I light a candle for my cousin, David who passed away this summer from brain cancer. I didn't get a chance to say good bye before you left and so I say it now. Good bye, cousin. Your kindness and thoughtfulness were a lifeline to me. You have been an example of the best of what a man can be. When I think of you, I remember your laugh, your easy smile, your genuine compassion, your happy attitude. My heart goes out to your 5 sons and to Stephanie who must go on with out you and to Mel, Sher, Michael, Shawn, Melanie and Shannon..... Until we meet again....

2 comments:

Sher said...

What a beautiful tribute, Drea. Thank you. I love you always.

Andrea said...

You're welcome and I love you, too!