January 24, 2011
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"We are gathered here today on behalf of Carey Hosely, a young man that certainly wasn't ready to leave this earth, family and friends...” (There were about 200 people at the funeral.) This man was speaking while everyone was grieving. The man was tall, about six foot and had brown short hair with a mixture of gray. His face was bony, like he hadn't eaten in weeks, and his eye were so droopy from crying that he looked tired. He often stopped and had to take breaths, when he spoke; it got harder and harder for him to speak. All I could hear around me were the people sniffling, sobbing, coughing and crying. All I wanted to do was get out of here. Seeing everybody crying, in pain, made me scream inside myself. My uncle was gone, but I didn't know how to show my emotions. Thinking of the night he died made me wish he had made a better choice. Twenty-two is way too young for a man to die. He had big dreams in life and now he would never get to do them. I often think of him now, how he's doing, where he's at, and if I'll ever see him again.

I got up from where I was sitting and started to walk on the trails. The ceremony was held in Barton Park right off the Clackamas River. It was Carey’s favorite park to go to. I sat on the rocks along the bank as the sun beat down on my soft porcelain skin. My eyes squinted as I fought through the sun, looking out into the river, finding hope and peace. The quietness helped me think even with the trickle of water flowing by, I heard some rustling coming from behind me; I glanced to look and it was my brother Jacob. He joined me on the rocks, but he stood just staring straight.
"I never thought that'd he'd leave so soon", he said in a monotone voice.
"I never thought it either," I said. “I will miss him and all the times we had."
"Yeah, I guess now he's in a better place, but he left us all in pain. It’s pretty s***ty, he made a wrong choice." My brother sounded anger and I could see he wanted to cry, but, would rather tough it out.
"I wonder what he's doing right about now, you know? Does he remember us? Is he watching us?" I said with curiosity.
"Mom and dad say he's doing the things he loves up there and is with the rest of the family and friends. She says he'll remember us and he'll always be watching, but who actually knows?''
We both stayed by the water for a while until it got too hot. I got up to head back to the memorial when my brother grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. It was tight, warm and loving. It was a hug I'd never gotten from him before. He never gave hugs that really meant anything, but this hug was different; you could tell he needed someone to hug him.
He whispered into my ear. “I’ve never hurt this much”. “My heart feels like it’s been ripped out of my chest and stepped on.”
All I could do was hug him back and tell him it would be ok, but I knew that it wouldn't help him because by now, he was crying harder. Carey and Jacob were buds; they did everything together. They were like peanut butter and jelly: inseparable. Jacob was crushed the night he found out Carey had gotten into that accident. Jacob went out and didn't come back till two in the morning. His face was all torn up. You could tell he'd been crying his eyes out, broken hearted and lost.
I stayed with him for a while by the lake to talk it out. It turned into a fifteen minute conversation that seemed to release a lot of his pain. The conversation actually had nothing to do with Carey, because every time I brought up his name, Jacob would start to get teary eyed and cry.
The hug had passed and the tears dried and we both made each other put on some smiles before we walked back. We both started telling funny jokes to lift our spirits.
“What do you call a Chevy on top of a hill?” I said.
“What?” he replied.
“A merical, I responded with laughter.
For the first time in years I knew that my brother would have my back to help me through it all, and right then and there, I knew I had his. I was the only one left in the family that could be his friend, his buddy. Knowing that gave me a good feeling that this tragedy would bring us closer. My brother was acting like a brother again and I was happy that he was coming back.
When we got back, everyone was gathered around the food or sitting at tables listening to funny stories about my uncle and his crazy friends. Everyone wore bright shining smiles and laughed like nothing had happened. There was no grief, no pain, just joy and happiness.
I walked over to my mom to see how she was holding up and she was chatting with a couple of her old friends. I waited for her at the picnic table. After about ten minutes she walked up.
''Hey pumpkin, how are you?'' she said with joy
'' I'm doing good; just got back from the river with Jacob and we were just talking".

"Have you eaten yet?" Mom asked

"No I haven't yet. I came to see how you were before I grabbed some food.”

"Well, I'm doing pretty good, talked with some of my old friends from when I was about your age that grew up with Carey.”
"Oh really, well that's good," I responded.
The sadness moved on and happiness took its place. This was really what we needed.
I stood in the mile-long line for some food, and oh my gosh, was there a lot of food. We had cheese burgers, hotdogs, pasta, tacos, chicken and much more. I didn't think it would all be gone. It seemed there was more food than people. I finally made it out of the sea of hungry people. When I got to the picnic table, I plopped down and let out a big sigh. I was so hungry I didn’t know where to start. My tummy was making this weird growling noise kind of like a dog makes when you get too close to his food while he’s eating. By the time I was finished, my tummy was full and hurting, so I rested at the table for a while. I stared out into the crowd and watched as groups of three to ten formed.I could hear laughter and joy coming from the groups my mom was in. I glanced over at another group and I could hear this guy about 5’6” with dark brown hair say stuff about my uncle. All I could catch from him was, “Remember that time when Carey….” And it slowly faded off like a car driving in the distance. Some groups were happy and overjoyed and some were just flat out sad and shedding tears, like the one to the left of my mom’s group. It was interesting watching these groups form and disperse after some time and seeing how everybody coped with the situation.

The sun was getting low and it started to grow darker as time passed; it was that time when everyone should start getting ready to head home. The drive was at least an hour back, but we also had to pack and clean everything up before dusk or we’d be stuck in the park for a night, plus we needed some daylight time to pack everything. As all the people were leaving, my aunt wished them all a safe drive home and thanked them for coming out. Jacob, mom and I all stayed behind to help Grandma and Grandpa pack up the ceremony and bring them home along with my uncle in a tiny tin can.

It was about thirty minutes later that we were all done packing up and ready to leave. We loaded all the coolers in the car, all the pictures we had laying out on the tables and all the tables and garbage. I turned back for one last look at the park and thought about what a great day we had, though we mourned a young soul. He wasn’t here, but we still partied hard and made and in our hearts and all around. He would have been proud and this is exactly what he would have wanted for us, him and his friends. I turned, heading to the car and hopped in. We started off down that rocky road to home sweet home.

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Macx14 said...
Jan. 27, 2011 at 6:33 am
You are a very relatable writer. I think a part of growing up is the first time you experience death of a family member and you portray it very well. Great work!
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