on a different (not a good) note

As the Longhorns are playing in the Rose Bowl, I can’t help but think about my brother. He was the biggest Longhorn fan I’ve ever known. His entire wardrobe consisted of jeans and University of Texas t-shirts. He owned Longhorn socks, Longhorn underwear, Longhorn ties, Longhorn hats. He would be at the Rose Bowl right now. He should be at the Rose Bowl right now. I should be searching for a glimpse of him painted orange and white in the roaring crowd.

But I’m not.

I’ve always been blessed with a very good memory. I capture pictures in my head of events, of words. Right now, the words I keep seeing are from the accident report. I’m not sure why they keep coming up now. They are gruesome words.

The words are “obviously deceased”. He was “obviously deceased” when the officer arrived at the scene. I don’t know what a person looks like when they are “obviously deceased”, but I can only imagine a horrible, bloody, decapitated scene. It haunts me, and I wonder if the picture I’ve created in my head is better or worse than the reality was.

I know the spot where he died. I drive by it many times per week. It is the most desolate, barren place. It is a giant pole, in the middle of a busy highway, holding an exit sign, surrounded by white limestone rocks about the size of my fists. For a while, there were little orange flags marking his trajectory. They are gone.

I long to mark the spot of his death. I always wondered why people put those crosses up on the side of the road. Didn’t it remind them of their loss? Now I know…you remember anyway. You remember every time you drive by. You want to remind everyone else. So they don’t forget. So they don’t forget that he existed. He was there. He took his last breath in that spot. He was loved.

It is the state of Texas’ policy to leave the memorials alone. They are called descansos.

But I can’t mark it. It is in the middle of one of the busiest highways here. I would have to either park my car in the middle of the highway or run across 4 lanes of 70 mile per hour traffic. Then I don’t know how I could anchor the cross there. There is no dirt or soil or grass. Only a layer of rocks and concrete.

I want the spot to scream with my grief. But it’s silent.

~ by Larisa on January 5, 2006.

9 Responses to “on a different (not a good) note”

  1. Oh Mrs. Hope, I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  2. I thought about you last night as I watched the game and wondered how you would be doing. It must be so hard to have something that would have brought such joy to your brother bring you such sorrow.

  3. Oh Mrs. Hope, I’m so sorry. I know how it feels to miss someone this much.

  4. Mrs. Hope, I gotta say your brother must still be cheering those Longhorns on and getting joy from watching them play. I find it comforting to think that way, anyhow. And maybe you really should figure out a way to make a descansos, perhaps it would ease some of your pain? I wish there was something more to do.

  5. Larissa,
    I am so sorry you are in so much pain. I wish I could give you some advice, but I haven’t been through a loss like that.
    I hope that with time, the pain of losing your brother will get easier to manage.

    About the part of picturing him, I know it must be hard not to think of the details. But maybe the only good thing that you can take from it is that your brother went quickly, and did not have to suffer when he died.

    I really feel sorry for you. It must be so terrible to lose a family member that is so young.


  6. Mrs. Hope,

    This was one of the most moving posts I’ve ever read – from anyone.

    I am so sorry… so incredibly sorry that your family has had to face this heartache.

  7. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  8. Descanso… I wish it was easier for you to access the place of his passing because I would easily be able to support you and say “YES YES DO IT.” But I can’t say that, because I love you and don’t want you to risk your life.

    I thought of your brother yesterday morning. One of my kids was late coming to school because of that game. He walked into class, tardy, making the longhorns sign and smiling the smile of the blessed and I felt so sad for you.

    You’re in my thoughts. More than you know.

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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