Monday, August 30, 2010

"Hey Buddy, I Love You"

Finding friends from the past opens up my mind to places and times i haven't visited in many years. Simple things like a Bill Miller iced tea makes me think of playing football in the park with my cousin Jeff, Chuck Dakin, Shawn McCann, John Pittman and many other friends. After the games we would all go to Bill Millers and get some sweet iced tea. Its the same with songs, movies, stores and other little triggers that set off memories. What seems important to me might be nothing and seem meaningless to others but that's what makes memories so personal and meaningful. I also find that things i remember may not be exactly how someone sees them, i am not sure if its because I, the person remembering, remember for a certain reason. I may remember something because it made me happy in which i think i would have a more positive spin on the memory and do the opposite for a bad memory. There are things in my life i still have no answers for and i know there will never be complete "closure" but answers would help me feel better, i think. Jeff Carter was my cousin. He was born on September 24, 1962 exactly one week before i was born. We always lived close to each other our whole lives. We grew up together and were more like brothers that cousins. When i was in the Navy i got a call from my father telling me that Jeff had taken his own life, this was 1985. The coroner said he had taken his life on a Sunday. I had spoken to Jeff on the Friday before and he wanted to know if i could come home to Texas from California on leave that weekend. I had duty and it was too late to find a replacement so i couldn't go. When i heard he had taken his life i felt like if i was there he may have not done it. I know that if a person is going to take his or her life there is nothing anyone can do but its something that i can't and feel i will never be able to believe or get passed. The questions never go away about why he did what he did, how hurt and how painful it still is tears me apart. I have a picture of Jeff that was taken before he rode his motorcycle out to Cali to visit me. I look into his eyes and wonder what the hell was going on, why couldn't he talk to me, what was haunting him to the point of taking his own life. I don't think that people who commit suicide understand the pain they cause others the ripple of pain and heartache is tremendous. Sometimes i look up to the heavens and cry for Jeff, he meant so much to me and i knew we had a special bond but as teenagers and young (male) adults we never said "hey buddy i love you", something that i wish i had done. I talk to him a lot, telling him that i miss him and forgive him. Letting him know he is missed and still loved dearly is something i feel keeps him close to me. I went through the grieving process but i don't think i ever really grieved, i always went back to "why". I am almost positive i will never know and it doesn't matter but it is the one thing that i cannot get passed. Jeff you know i miss you and you can hear me talking to you......I will see you someday....."Hey buddy i love you"