Friday, October 20, 2006

a day with someone you've lost

Nancy Jones added this challenge at STM

I can't pick just one--I don't follow rules well. :)

My brother Mike and my grandmother Rita. Two amazing people who left holes in my heart when they left but fill up my soul when I think of them.

Mike: He was the James Dean of the 80's---atleast in our neighborhood. I'll set the scene for you; It's a hot summer day on the south side of chicago in 1985...the kind of hot where you're barefoot and motown naturally plays in the background. 92nd and Oakley is filled with children and activity...girls assembled under a tree attempting to stick candles in a charleston chew for their cabbage patch birthday party, boys burning ants on the side walk with magnifying glasses....and then there's "Ungi". I don't even know where that knickname for Mike came from--but as long as I can remember, to every kid on the block he was Ungi Murphy, the cool guy, the rebel, the hero, and I was his kid sister. Ungi's had it with the heat, and more so he wants to put a big smile on my face and make me the envy of the neighborhood youth because I have THE RADDEST BIG BROTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. So, out comes the monkey wrench and we head to the fire hydrant to flood the street with a relief from the heat.
Another day on the south side--it's early fall of 1986 and I have forgotten my lunch at home. I call home, luckily Mike answers............(it only strikes me odd now 20 years later that he wasn't at school himself, hmmm)...15 minutes later there is a ruckus in the hallway at Christ the King School..."Michael G. Murphy, you take those contraptions of your feet in this school right now!" Sister Campion, i.e. "thunder thighs" , our principal is screaming. I am smiling ear to ear. Before anyone knew what rollerblades were, Mike had them--they were called "off-season trainers" at the time and he ordered them from a special hockey catalog--he loved hockey. He had skated to my school, lunch in tow, up the stairs, straight past thunder thigh's office (hence the screaming), and into my classroom. He plopped my lunch on my desk infront of me, kissed me on top of the head and said, "eat up kid" He skated away, and my 3rd grade peers looked at me in awe. G-d, I loved him.
Mike died in 1990, A car accident on the Dan Ryan expressway. I was still a kid when he died--really, so was he--he had just turned 20. He's frozen in my mind and heart at that age, and when I look at his picture now, my older brother is now younger than me, and it breaks my heart. He wasn't there to meet my husband, and he won't be there to meet my kids someday. He's not there when I need him when I cry about shared memories of crappy times growing up. Sometimes I'm still mad at him for dying--sometimes I'm still mad at G-d for taking him. I'd give anything to simply sit and share a 6 pack of beers and a pack of smokes with him, shoot the shit, play some darts, and tell him that I love him.

I'll be back in a bit to tell you about Rita, I'm a little drained right now.


Blogger DivaMom said...

Wow, Chelsea! That's pretty intense. I lived in Chicago for 10 years, so I know all those places you speak of. Did you go to K.A.M Temple Isaiah? Anyway, I can't imagine losing a sibling and your parents must still have a gaping hole where he was. I wish I was there to hold you right now - just remembering those times must be tough. It was very brave of you to write about it. I could just see the fire hydrant and those "rollerblades" - why did our parents send us to Catholic School???

October 20, 2006  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Terrific journaling Chelsea, really makes you take a step back and think - I have lost 2 sons and my Dad - and I think about them all every day.

October 23, 2006  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Oh Chelsea! HUGS!!! I've missed you so much and reading this post just makes me want to come over there and give you a great big hug! That was very well written and it touched my heart. I can't imagine losing someone so close and I feel for you girlfriend! I love you Chels......hang in there! I should be back in STM in a couple of weeks full-time!


October 26, 2006  

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