Today would have been, I believe, the 29th birthday of my cousin Phyllis’ (also passed) son Scott. He was hit by a drunk driver and killed when he was 19, not long before Christmas. He was at a red light, stopped, on his way home from one of his three part-time jobs. He was also an engineering student at Penn State, head of the engineering club and possessed of SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) bumper stickers in the trunk of his car. Someone came across a double yellow line from the other direction, smashed right into him and changed all of our lives forever – especially those of his immediate family. Naturally, the earthquake created cracks and jagged schisms in the world of everyone who loved him and loves them. The ramifications just go on and on and on in every conceivable way. Issues that would have had time to be sorted out and addressed are now frozen in time. But he is not forgotten and he made a tremendous difference. I pray for him each and every day, at least twice a day. And am still deeply involved, underneath the surface, with dealing with this surrealistic incident, its affect on his mother (and father and sister), his loss, and for me, the subsequent departure of his mom, with whom I was very very close. ANYWAY, I read his sister Lori’s great post about this topic and was inspired to make my first entry into my own blog. She has a wonderful WordPress blog called
UPHILL: Musings on life, learning, social justice, and judo. Mostly judo.
Happy Birthday Scott. I will copy Lori’s off-the-cuff muse and add my own:
Lori: Some things that were awesome about Scott:
1. His hair: Until my brother was in his late teens, he kept his hair short to hide his curly locks and avoid teasing. Then he decided to embrace his natural looks and let his grown into an electric shock of blond curls. It was amazing.
2. His trillion watt smile: My brother had the biggest and best smile of anyone I’ve ever met.
3. He was a big, giant weirdo: My brother had strange taste in clothing, conducted gross experiments with food, and was constantly trying to invent ways to save time that were extremely impractical.
4. He was a compulsive over-achiever: In the last year of his life, my brother was a full-time college student with three jobs, one of which was a teaching assistant. He was applying for internships on top of all that.
5. He loved what he did: My brother was an engineering student whose first love was physics. When he went to parties in college, his friends would realize he was missing, only to find him alone in a dark room with a flashlight and his text book.
6. He made everyone feel special: I don’t know how he did it, but he made everyone feel like he was their best friend. If you were Scott’s friend, he’d give you anything you wanted, listen to you for hours, and always find a way to make you laugh.
Of course that is a lovely tribute. I love #3 the best as I too am a big giant wierdo.
Me again: Alls I can say, and it’s no throwaway comment: I always liked and loved him and I think that was true on his end – largely because of his tremendous sincerity, unique qualities, forbearance, humanity and geekiness. There was alot to be proud of about him, but I am not his parent and so that was not my thing.
Living with my spouse, I have learned to let holidays and birthdays go by without recognition and focus on each day. Previous to our relationship, this seemed like both a lofty and laughable goal – never an achievable one. One of the most amazing things about our life together is that with him its very doable. He really does try to focus on each day in a meaningful way. There is no need to do a big Make Up day at designated calendar points.
This is, trust me, a minor miracle. But it kind of puts me on a different planet than other humans. So what else is new?
I could go on, but this is Scott’s post.
Miss you Scott. Wish you were here as Scott, hey! I hope you are here as anybody. If you are hanging around, say hi. I will listen up.