So October is here. I used to love October. In Texas at least, the weather in October is usually beautiful. The bluest skies you can imagine paired with comfortable temperatures. Outdoor activities become bearable. It also signifies the beginning of the holiday season.

October is different now. October marks the death of my brother. I’ve spent each day of this October replaying October of 2003. It’s a strange and morbid habit, but I can’t seem to stop.

It’s not like I expect the sequence of events to change. I just somehow feel the need to reexamine them.

October 10, 2003 – Husband and I both took off from work. We closed on our first house – we “built” the house from the beginning. It had been about a 6 month process, so we were really excited. After the closing, we went and bought appliances, paint, sod, and other assorted home “things”. We stayed up late painting.

October 11, 2003 – We got up early. My mom was originally going to come to help us out, but it was my sister’s senior year in high school, and she decided to stay because the homecoming dance was that night, and she didn’t want to miss it. So we spent the day painting again, and Husband began laying the sod. It was pouring rain all afternoon. I remember looking at the clock at about 7:00PM and it was still pouring. We continued working on the house until about 2 AM that night. I accidently left my cell phone at the new house when we went back to our apartment.

The same day was the Texas – OU football game. It’s a big deal here in Texas. My brother was a Longhorn – a diehard Longhorn fan. He had a car, but it wasn’t legally driveable. He had technically totaled it maybe a year before. But he kept it, and that day he bought a battery for it so he could drive it to a friend’s house where they would watch the game. And drink. Apparently a lot. He left their house at about 7:00 PM. The Longhorns lost their game. He was dead about 10 minutes later. He didn’t even go a mile. He probably passed out in the car (his blood alcohol level was .29), clipped another vehicle, and then slammed into a pole. The report says he was “obviously deceased”. All of this happened within 3 miles of my house.

That night, my sister got home from the homecoming dance at about 11:00 PM. She forgot her key, so she knocked on the door for about 10-15 minutes before my mom woke up and let her in. Moments later, two policemen knocked on their door. They thought maybe someone called because my sister was knocking on the door. That wasn’t it. They told my mom and sister that Sean had died in a car accident. My parents and sister were up for most of the night.

October 12, 2003 – Sean’s girlfriend arrives home to their apartment at about 3AM (she was a bartender). There are two policemen waiting for her. They tell her that Sean is dead. She calls my cell phone and leaves a message to call her back.

At about 7:00AM, the phone at our apartment rings. We had just been waking up, kind of chatting in bed about what we needed to do next at the house. I check the caller ID, it’s my parents. I answer, thinking that maybe my mom has decided to come after all. It’s my dad – he asks if Husband is there. I say, “Yeah.” He says, “I have bad news.” I think: my grandmother has died. He says, “I have very bad news.” I think my grandfather has died. He says, “Sean died yesterday in a car accident.”

I replay those moments, those days. The person I was at the closing of our house vaporized by that Sunday morning. Sean’s death changed all of us in myriad ways.

The Texas Longhorns play OU today. They always play on Columbus day weekend. So this weekend, this day mark his death for me. Despite the fact that I attended a rival school, this is what I have to say today:


~ by Larisa on October 8, 2005.

10 Responses to “timeline”

  1. Mrs. Hope,
    I can’t imagine the pain that each anniversary of your brother’s death much bring about. I can’t imagine the heartbreak.

    In your honor, I will be cheering for the Longhorns tonight.

  2. Mrs. Hope, I’m so sorry. All I can do is hope that next October you have a new anniversary to look forward to with a little one in tow – one celebrating the positive pregnancy test.

  3. *hugs*

  4. When I read your posts about your brother, it makes me love mine more.

    I hope you have a new little soul in your life soon. I know it won’t replace your brother, but I hope you have someone to celebrate next year.

  5. Mrs. Hope, i’m so sorry you have an unforgetable timeline to remember every October. i have a timeline of my own that lasts over a period of 9mo and sadly it results in a death of a very dear love. i’m not a sports fan at all but today i’ll sit and watch the game with hubby and cheer the LONGHORNS on!

  6. Mrs. Hope I am so sorry to hear about your brother’s death. This must be a very hard time of year for you – or perhaps it’s just always hard – you always miss him? In any case, I’m very sorry.

  7. A sisters love for her brother is an amazing thing. I can’t understand what you are going through but I am thinking about you.

    I am sure he is looking over you each and every day.

  8. Oh Mrs. Hope what a sad anniversary. I’m so sorry.

    And I also hope there will be happier anniversaries to come.

    Take care.

  9. Oh, Mrs. Hope, what a horrible tragedy. It must be so difficult on the anniversary of his death. I am well aware of how big a deal the TX/OU weekend is. Maybe Texas’s victory brought a small comfort.

  10. Love and hugs for you.

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