updated 2/29/08

 

Friday, February 29, 2008
Talked to your best friend today. I know you must be so proud of little Jesse, 518 and the Number 1 Plate.
It was nice to touch base. Moments reminded me of probably 30 years ago... rolling my eyes and shaking my head with the wonder of the silly mischief that the two of you continually managed to create.
He told me the story about the "shop rags" and the "pliers", geez, that's just so you!!!
I remember to appreciate these blessings of connections that keep you close to me.
I miss you.. your smile, your laugh, your mischief, your twisted sense of humor and most of all, your hug.
I trust that you're taking care of my little ones once again...
big love to you sibling


Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It's been way too long...
I've had technical difficulties and although I've kept my online diary to you along the way, for some reason, those thoughts and ideas seem so very small now. When I "sit here with you", so many situations seem small in the grand scheme of things.
The "holiday stress" has begun and I'm trying very hard to remember to breathe and remain centered.
This too shall pass...
Know that through this holiday season, as with all the ones before, I hold you so close to my heart and I remember that Christmas so very many years ago... you know the one, it's one of my favorite stories of being your big sister.
I love you so very much and I miss you every single day...


Friday, August 3, 2007
So many thoughts of you tonight..
It's the eve of my birthday...
I always think of you, heading out to spend some time with your friends, enjoy a day off and celebrate your birthday.
I remember talking to you, wishing you a safe trip and telling you that I'd hug your neck when you got back... but that didn't happen.
I struggle for something incredibly meaningful to say here sometimes and all I can think is how terribly I miss you.
I love you and I miss you every single day....


Friday, July 6, 2007
I miss you baby brother. Today was one of those days when I'd give nothing more than to be able to pick up the phone and call you. I really needed to talk to you... no one else would do.
I had that moment of realization that you have always been my closest confidant... not that I haven't always known that, but today it rang so very true. I miss you much. There's nothing like having a brother to talk to....


Sunday, May 20, 2007
Once again I think of the card that I never had the opportunity to give you. I think of talking to you as you were finishing your work day and about to head off... and I think of the phone call from you that never came.
Difficult days.
As Mom and I were saying the other day, the pain feels like it happened yesterday, but I miss you like it's been forever.
I love you so very much.


Friday, March 30, 2007
It feels so very important for me to acknowledge my feelings today.
So very many distractions, duties, responsibilities... and all I wanted really wanted to do was to give you a giant hug.
I wore your tshirt today. It was my personal billboard for you, but it seemed painfully ironic (and I know you understand exactly what I mean).
I miss you so very much, precious "sibling". I miss your laugh everytime I say that in the Marvin the Martian voice...
"there are no words to describe it..
these feelings won't go away...
they've been knocking me sideways...
they've knocking out lately...."
And I know that you understand, that I don't want these feelings to "go away". I carry you in my heart for all of my days and I will forever miss all of the things that we could have, we should have shared.
I miss you baby brother, we all do, nothing will ever be the same here...


Tuesday, March 20, 2007
It's been one of those days...
I miss you.
It was a beautiful day, "ridin' weather" as you'd say. The kind of day that I could just imagine you stopping by, helping out with something or other, and us getting a chance to chat.
You know I love this time of year...the weather is getting warmer and it's so bittersweet. Bikes everywhere and I can almost see you several times on a typical drive home from work and it leaves such a hollow place in my heart.


Friday, March 9, 2007
Big Jay...
What I wouldn't give to have a brother/sister chat with you tonight. I miss you so much.
It still makes my heart skip a bit in those strange moments when I "forget" and just know that it's you pulling up to visit. It's so hard for me to believe how long it's been since I've heard your voice, felt your hug, been captured by your laughter.
It's kind of funny that the folks that I work with are so familiar with you and they know how to remind me of you and make me laugh. Even Ms. Linda can do the "Happy Happy Joy Joy" song, you'd get a kick out of it.
We all try so hard to stick together when one of us is feeling down.
It's been unseasonable warm the past few weeks and there are bikes everywhere... I find myself glancing over, almost expecting to see you..
I know you are with me, close by, but I still miss you so very very much.
I love you baby brother..


Friday, February 2, 2007
I miss you so much. So many things that I've missed talking to you about, just the knowing that you were always there. It's such a hollow feeling without you.
I miss your big bear hugs and tugging on your goatee. I miss your goofy sense of humor and hearing your laugh.
I think of so many funny stories and I miss us laughing over them together.
There are so many things every single day that remind me of you and how much I miss you. I try to see them as messages from you and yet, I wish they would just come in a little clearer.
You have a fan club little brother, and we all miss you..


Thursday, August 3, 2006
my dearest sibling..
it's the eve of my birthday. i've "big" things on my plate. all day i was consumed with the need to talk to you.
I've no doubt that you could help me make some sense of this mess...you always have this way of bringing everything down to their basics, making it simple.
Ed's getting old and I'm worried about him. I know you know what I mean.
I feel like I've got one shot at this and if it doesn't work, I'm not sure what to do from there. I know that you'd probably tell me to "worry" about that later.
I miss you more than you could ever know.
to tug your chin and feel your bear hug would do my soul great wonders....


Monday, July 17, 2006
..an unfinished life...
I watched the movie with a good friend. Completely different, but yet the same.
It was an interesting perception of how loss effects different relationships in different ways.
I'm becoming increasingly aware of another impending date, my own birthday. I have such difficulty with that day, but for not the reason that most people would think. The age is just a number...a number that means nothing to me anymore, except that they are numbers that my brother will never experience. It's incredibly difficult to have the discussions regarding the "planning of the birthday"...all I can think about is the brief chat I had with Jay about his birthday and that I would see him when he got back home...that didn't happen.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Father's Day was another difficult day.
I love my own dad so much, but when I call him, I'm so aware that mine is the only call he will get that day. I wonder how he feels, does he dread my call and yearn for the other that won't come?
I'm sad for the boys, Big Jay was their Dad and now there is another emptiness for them that I know they feel on this day.
Once again, there are so many things that just merit a good brother/sister chat and I'm challenged on how to make that happen.
There is nothing that would give me greater comfort than to tug on your goatee and feel your great big bear hug. I miss you every minute of every day.


Thursday, May 18, 2006
Today I was reminded, as Mom says, "No one feels your pain but you".
Every year since 2003 I have not worked on this day. Through a strange series of events, it was unavoidable this year. I won't do it again.
I don't remember the last time I had the luxury of a real vacation, so I think I'll compromise with at least taking Jay's birthday off from work and doing exactly what I feel that I need to do on that day and not subject myself to any more public interaction than what is absolutely necessary.
All that said, today would be Jay's birthday. He would be 39 years old. I would be teasing him about "pushing 40".
....would be....
....should be....
but everything is different.
I miss him just as much today as I did yesterday...and the day before...and the day before, but today, May 18, is a day that reminds me of all the things I miss about my baby brother, wonder about what his life would be like today, and long for one more glimpse of his grin.
Jay, this should be your day and I love you.


Friday, April 21, 2006
It occurred to me today as I looked at some of my pictures of Jay, as I revisited some of our history together, that there are so many interesting things about him that a lot of people don't know....
When I was in high school, Jay was one of the youngest licensed scuba divers in the state, and because of that, he was actually part of Natalie Woods last movie, Brainstorm! He was cast as a photo-double for Jason Lively. AND, since Jay was too young to have his drivers license, I took him to the set. Jay and I both had lunch with Christopher Walken, were in the same room with Natalie Woods, and joked around a lot with Jason Lively and his dad (RoadRunner, from the old RoadRunner and Ernie Hardee's commercials)
There was truly a strange course of events with that movie. Natalie Woods died before the project was complete, and the movie was up in the air. They finally finished it and there was no mention of Jay in the credits, but we'll never forget the experience.
Even as a young man, he was always my hero. I love, and envy, that he was always so true and secure within himself. He went with me once to an "alternative club", I remember telling him that he might get some unwelcomed attention and he just grinned and said something to the effect of, "hey, I'm here with my sister, they'll get over it". He probably had no idea, but that was a very big deal to me.
He never had any grandiose ideas and still he became a great man.
As a kid, a teen, a young adult, he loved to tinker with things....he'd take them apart and put them back together and later, he turned that passion towards cars and motorcycles. He became an award winning motorcycle builder.
His bikes have been in "Easy Rider" Magazine, "Easy Rider" Yearly Calender...could a sister be more proud? I think not.
What a wonderful man, a wonderful friend, and a wonderful brother he grew to be. I will miss him for all of my days.


Monday, March 6, 2006
a low day...
It's just been one of those days where everything that's missing is so very obvious.
Today was a day that just begged for a chance to talk to Jay.


Friday, February 10, 2006
10000

I miss Jay. Today it was one thousand days ago that he was killed.
ONE THOUSAND DAYS.
There have been way too many things that have happened in the past one thousand days....
One of the last conversations that I had with Jay was a huge conversation for me...we were transitioning once again.
It was yet another turn in our brother/sister relationship.
Even that day, as I hung up the phone, I felt blessed. I just thought it was so cool that we were discussing such adult things, adult situations, and that he really seemed to value my opinion.
Now, I can't help but think of that song, "Who You'd Be Today".
I'm so sad for losing that relationship that we'd just begun.
I trust that you know how very close I hold you to my heart.
I miss you every single day and I don't anticipate that it will ever change...
I'm forever your sister,
kim


Monday, January 30, 2006
I miss Jay, nothing new.
On Mondays, which is the end to my weekend, I try to spend some quiet time with myself. Tonight, that meant a shower with my music, my "Grieving" playlist. This is the usual playlist when I'm listening to my iPod.

1. Something Worth Leaving Behind by Lee Ann Womack
"...I'll probably never hold a brush
that paints a masterpiece
Probably never find a pen
that writes a symphony
But if I will love then I will find
That I have touched another life
And that's something
Something worth leaving behind"

2. Storm by Lifehouse
"...if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I'd see you
the storminess will turn to light
...I know you didn't
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I'm so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I see you
the storminess will turn to light

3. Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne
"..I miss you
Miss you so bad
I don't forget you
Oh it's so sad
I hope you can hear me
I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same..

4. The Promise by Tracy Chapman
"..If you wait for me then Iíll come for you
Although Iíve traveled far
I always hold a place for you in my heart
If you think of me, if you miss me once in awhile
Then Iíll return to you
Iíll return and fill that space in your heart...

5.World Without You by Beth Hart

"...Imagine a world with no sky
Imagine the ocean run dry
Imagine and you'll see the view
Of my world without you
Imagine no sun and no rain
Imagine that each day's the same
It doesn't matter what I do
In a world without you...

6. Sideways by Citizen Cope
"...These feelings won't go away
They've been knockin' me sideways
I keep thinking in a moment that
Time will take them away
But these feelings won't go away
these feelings won't away...

7. Have a Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt
"...When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me.."

8. Cannonball by Damien Rice

"..Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannonball

Listening to these songs makes me feel closer to Jay, but never close enough. At the moment, I just want to scream....it can't be real....


Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I miss Jay.
This isn't something new, but the "holiday season" always makes it feel especially raw. I have so many wonderful, magical memories of Christmas...and they seem hollow and far away without him here to remember them with me.
I've felt really anxious the past few days and it took me a while to realize why.
I'm so used to calling Jay and talking over our Christmas plans..asking him what he's getting Mom..what he's getting Dad, bouncing ideas off each other.
Each year seems to bring another layer of grief, another layer of realization, and another layer of longing.
I do my brief little stints of shopping and the holiday music feels like fingernails on a chalkboard.
I wasn't lying when I told my neighbor last week that I'd truly like to hibernate for the winter.

Monday, November 28, 2005
Another round of crap from "the other side", Grannie passed away, and the upcoming holidays....
To "the other side", no worries, you'll get your 15 minutes, I just haven't had time yet.
Grannie passed. I think it's no secret that Jay was Grannie's favorite. They had a very special relationship. I never felt slighted and I can't imagine that the rest of the grandkids did either. Jay lived with Grannie for a period of time and their relationship evolved. Grannie's passing brought my own remembrance. Times that she made me feel special and that she encouraged my own personal interests. She was a wonderful woman. In a way, I'm envious of her today. I know that she's with Jay, surrounded by my loved ones who have passed before me. The holidays...another holiday season without Jay.
This time of year is always bittersweet. It was our favorite and now, it is forever different. Everything happens with the obviousness of Jay's absence. No longer can I call him for his "list", his help or suggestions/ideas for thoughtful ideas. One more obvious way that I'm alone now.
We do our best, but we go through the motions.
There will never a day go by that I don't miss my only brother and all that he means to me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Where to even begin..
I've been following the story of a woman who lost her mom in the 9/11 attacks. One thing struck me about her journey, that she has personal grief and public grief.
In a way, I feel a commonality with her.
Losing Jay, my only brother, has very much been a personal tragedy, but in a sense, it's also been a public tragedy.
Jay was a victim.
He was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
He was a motorcyclist that was killed by a "right of way" violator.
The newspapers and the television stations picked up his story in our hometown.
We were grateful, because we had no idea who had killed him and we wanted them to be held responsible and accountable for their actions.
Since then, as the webmaster of his website, I've had times when I've felt like the "spokesperson" for our entire family. That's not a great position to be in. It's difficult to filter out your personal beliefs, opinions and ideas in an effort to speak for a group.
That's the main reason why I created our "mirror pages". I wanted a place to share and it be understood that my "page" was MINE, my opinions, my beliefs, my ideas, etc, without anyone assuming that these ideas were those of our entire family.
Soon after the "mirror" pages were born, we were, once again, attacked by friends of the men that killed my brother.
It's been difficult for me to post to mirror page ever since. I can't help but censor my own words while I imagine how they may be taken, mistaken, and/or misunderstood.
For the record, today marks the end of that.
In case I need to say it again, this particular page is mine and mine alone. I post to this page in an effort to to express myself and in an effort to aid other adult siblings who are also grieving.
If it offers you something of merit, wonderful. If not, please just pass through quietly.
....on another note, this time of year seems to get more difficult.
I hate the time change, I'm not fond of the cold weather and the "holidays" are just another sad reminder.
A friend said something about Christmas the other day and then stumbled and said, "I didn't mean to make you sad or bring up a bad topic".
I reassured her. Christmas "happens" and the mere mention of it doesn't change the fact that my brother is no longer here, and that understanding is never more than a mere breath from my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005
It's almost bedtime for me.....
I was just about to step away from the computer and go brush my teeth...and I glanced at my picture of Jay. Another sudden realization. It's amazing how you "put one foot in front of the other" for so many days, you focus on those small things in order to get by, and then there's that sudden "knowing".
I miss him so much.
I've missed him for a long time now. I would give anything in this world to have a hug from my baby brother.


Monday, September 5, 2005
Hurricane Katrina..
I am absolutely appalled by the lack of coordination and wherewithall to do something so much faster for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Our fine president has pushed for "Homeland Security", using it as a tool to "comfort" our great nation. Do you feel comforted after watching how this crisis has been handled?! I'm appalled and disgusted.
The one thing that has become painfully obvious to me is the mistreatment in regards to the animals during this crisis. It's not been enough that these people have lost their homes and family members, but upon the possibility of rescue they are faced with having to part with their pets. In my opinion, this is completely and utterly unacceptable!
Please, do what you can to aide these animals who depend on us for their existence.
Our hearts break for all those effected by Hurricane Katrina...God's speed , best wishes and know that we hold you in our hearts...


Monday, July 25, 2005
Triggers.....
it's strange the way the mind works and how certain, somewhat unrelated things, can be such triggering factors that have such a way of navigating through the roadmaps of our memories.
While painful, I'm grateful. I'm always mindfully grateful of all things that spark wonderful memories of my Jay.


Monday, May 16, 2005
Two years ago today, almost to the minute, was the last time that I knew what "normal" felt like.
I fell asleep on the couch with the tv on and awoke to a life that suddenly seemed surreal...
Within minutes I heard true fear in my mother's voice for the first time.
Within hours I learned that my only brother, my "favorite brother", I used to tease him, had been killed.
Within days I lost faith in the police and their ability/desire to "Protect and Serve".
Within weeks I realized that I had lost great respect for a lot of people.
Within months I realized that it takes great effort for even the smallest chance of justice.
Within a year I realized there is no justice.
Two years...in the two years since Jay was killed Martha Stewart spent time in jail, Rabah Samara & Emily Caveness walked away scot free after committing the hit and run that killed NC reporter Stephen Gates, and yet there are people that still utter that stupid phrase, "Justice will prevail". Does it now?
I miss Jay.


Monday, May 2, 2005
Riding the bus with my sister...
It takes one second of someone else's grief to take me back to the exact moment when my own grief was born.
Time can be filled with one distraction or another, but of their nature, they are temporary.
Grief is an underlying constant....once it is born, it remains with you for all of your days.


Monday, March 7, 2005
Sometimes it's hard to find the words...
Days pass, months change and the ache of loss never loosens its grip. I notice that my emotions live much closer to the surface these days.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005
It's been a very hard time this past while. Jay's "girl" Jessica passed away. Receiving the news of her passing hit me like a ton of bricks. In a way, it felt like reliving the news of Jay's crash, only with a history of incredible grief. I wailed....out loud, very loud. Before I could even catch my breath, I was dialing Mom. It was too much grief for me to hold by myself.
There is some consolation in knowing that Jess is with Jay now...surely they have missed each other terribly. I find some comfort in that.
There have been so many other things going on that I'd give anything to be able to talk to Jay about. While our lives have always been different, I forever value his opinion.


Monday, December 27, 2004
Numb..still a constant for me apparently.
Mom and I went to the church on Christmas Eve for a moment with Jay.
It's just so wrong...he should be here with us and instead we leave tokens at his grave.
I trick myself by saying "going to the church"...it's code for "going to Jay's grave". The reality is still too harsh, too cruel, too unreal.
I miss my baby brother so much that I can't fully acknowledge the reality of it even still.


Saturday, November 27, 2004
I think I'm still numb from the Thanksgiving "holiday".
Spent some wonderful time with mom, but there was no masking Jay's absence.
As I drove to mom's, every moment, I was aware that the last Thanksgiving that we spent together, Jay made that drive with me. I miss him so much.
Jay had called me the night before and asked if I was still going to Mom's. He asked if he could go with me and surprise Mom. We were both so excited because we knew Mom would be totally surprised and thrilled.
I'll never forget when we pulled into her drive and she came out. I could see the puzzled look on her face wondering who the man was with me...until Jay stepped out of the car. The tears just rolled down her face. She was so happy to have us both there. Jay and I were totally tickled with ourselves.
I enjoyed the time that Jay and I spent together during the drive. It was the first time in a while that we'd spent some quality time just the two of us. I will cherish that memory forever.
I miss him every single day....


Wednesday, November 3, 2004
It seems that Urban is still in jail.
We got an email from a girl who is apparently the mother of one of his children. She complained to us that while "maybe Daniel got what he deserved", her "daughter did not get what she deserved". That may be true, but I can surely, and with conviction, tell you that Jay CERTAINLY didn't get what he deserved and WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT???? Mark Daniel Urban and Brandon Lee Brogan. Why this girl feels compelled to whine to us about her baby's daddy being in jail is beyond me. I'm sure that Urban losing his license for failure to pay his many traffic tickets isn't his fault either? I guess it's someone else's fault that he failed his drug test? Daniel Urban is solely responsible for finding his sorry ass in jail.
She also said, "So next time your adding a entry to your web site and telling the world how marys father is going to spend the next few years of her life in jail. Just remember to you he may be the monster who took your son you husband, those kids father. remember that he him self(this monster) is also a son, a husband, and most importantly a father. i hope you belive justice has been served!"
It just appalls me to no end everytime I read some crap like that. We're supposed to feel sorry for him??? He KILLED my brother...and it's not like Jay will just be gone for a few years. He is gone forever. I can only hope that perhaps this girl will take advantage of Urban's absence and make some positive choices for her daughter. Urban has continued to break the law without a single thought of his daughter, sounds like a fine daddy to me.
And for the record, no, I don't think justice has been served.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004
What an incredibly long day...
Today was Urban's bond hearing for Probation Violation. The short of it is that he got $10,000 bond and has to remain in SC until the hearing.
The long of it is that Urban was true to form.
The judge ran down the long list of Urban's probation violations: failure to maintain full time employment, failure to pass his drug test, failure to show for subsequent drug tests, failure to show for substance abuse counseling, failure to pay his court fees (six months past due) and failure to report to his probation officer. The list was so long that I may even have missed a few "failures".
The judge asked mom to address the court and she did. She was wonderful.
Mom basically said that Urban was not the least bit remorseful, that this case had lacked true consideration from the beginning and that she hoped this judge would do the right thing.
The judge then asked Urban if he had anything to say. Urban should've kept his stupid mouth shut.
Again, never once did he show any remorse, in fact, he was angry.
He sounded like Jethro meets an Eminem wannabee.
He said, "Ya know, I ain't got no car, ya know, I cain't get to them places, ya know. I got a ride once, ya know, but I cain't get no ride everytime, ya know. I even tried to pay the probation guy to come to my house, ya know, but he wouldn't do nuthin, ya know. I got a 17 month old baby at home and another on the way, ya know, I need to be with them, ya know, before I git sentenced, ya know..."
The judge simply said, "It would be one thing if you failed to comply with one requirement, but you have failed to comply with ANY of your requirements." The judge set Urban's bond at $10,000 and stated that he is required to remain in South Carolina until his hearing.


Wednesday, October 6, 2004
"Me, I'm a part of your circle of friends, and we notice that you don't come around.... and me, I think I all depends on you, touching ground with us." (Edie Brickell)
I was talking with a friend that I met through a sibling grief support board and we were discussing how losing a sibling has such a dramatic impact on all of your relationships. It's difficult sometimes to hear from friends that call from months passed in their energetic voices and plea to hear the excitement of my life.
Sometimes I wonder if they dialed my number by mistake. The "excitement of my life"?
I don't expect them to hold my pain as dear to their heart as is it to mine, but I would think that picking up the phone to dial my number would at least jar their memory. Mom always reminds me, "no one can feel your pain but you"....


Friday, October 1, 2004
Today we learned that Urban was incarcerated. It was truly the first piece of "good" news that we've had in over 16 months.it's hardly "over" with him, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. I can't even describe what it felt like to see the picture of him in his orange prison garb with that disgusted look on his face....an expression that just screamed, "I've been SO inconvenienced....."
On another note, one of my very best friends stopped by tonight and we watched the "Jay's DVD"...it's like a photo documentary of our lives, I suppose that's an accurate way to describe it. It seemed so appropriate and it was so good for me to watch it with her tonight. I couldn't help but cry. I miss him so much and he's such a truly amazing person....I still can't believe that he's not here. We watched the dvd and when the pictures of the motorcycles gathering at the church, she put her arms around me and I let down the walls. She said, "...I remember that...." I think we were silent until the dvd was done. I know that it's probably not what she bargained for when they stopped by, but it meant a lot to me to share it with her.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Today was Dad's birthday. I know that Dad missed Jay's "Happy Birthday" phone call that never came. Such are our lives these days.
My heart is heavy with grief and so much more.
On another note, I'm grateful for all the posts to Jay's guestbook and to the correspondence that we've received through the website (you know who you are). Thank you.


Thursday, September 9, 2004
It's been an exhausting day, but something reminded me of "the pig".
Most every one that knows me, knows about my thing with pigs. I'm not exactly sure how it began, but pigs have held a special place in my heart for a very long time. The grandmother of a dear friend of mine used to say "I love you little, I love you big, I love you like a little pig". She was so very sweet when she said it in her sing-song rhythmic voice. Around the same time, I read a quote that has stayed with me for years, "Never try to teach a pig to sing, it frustrates you and annoys the pig". Eventually, my sweet Carob acquired the nickname "Piggy".
Anyway, like I said, most people who know me at all, know that pigs make me smile. This year on my birthday, my friend Aimee had a special gift for me.

She showed me the cake and she said, "it's a pig because you love pigs.....it has a half shell helmet for Jay....wings because he's an angel and clouds because he's in the heavens..."

Monday, August 30, 2004
It's late and I really should be sleeping, but I just can't.
I can't stop thinking about Jay and how much I miss him. It's so wrong that he's not here.
I suppose that this is just one of those days when I'm just sad to my core. I'd give anything to hear his voice.
I love you Jay and nothing is the same without you.


Friday, August 13, 2004
Hurricane Charley...
the last hurricane that I remember left a tree fallen at Jay & Vickie's house. It was sad that Jay wasn't there to just take care of it. I couldn't help but wonder about all of the other things that Vickie would have to face without Jay.
I can't help but think about the hurricane hitting Florida and I watch the news with keen interest. I think my entire family has a certain love for Florida, specifically the Keyes.
When I was in high school, our family took a trip to Florida. We drove down and I remember being in Miami and then heading to Key West. I have some wonderful memories of being there that trip. Key West found a place in my heart. I had my first Pollo con Mole there and Cafe con leche (at least I think that's how you spell it)!
When I was in college, Mom, Dad and Jay swapped life at home for life on a sailboat and they anchored in Marathon, about 60 miles north of Key West. I drove down to visit every chance I could.
Time passed and eventually all of us ended back up in NC, but I think we all still have this "thing" about Florida. Some of my favorite pictures of Jay were taken in Florida and I will never forget his dark tan, wind blown hair and his many pairs of swimming shorts.
I hope that Florida holds it own with Charley and I'd give anything to sit "dockside" and share a Coke with Jay.


Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Every time I update this page I re-read some of the entries and within seconds the tears flow.


I can't help but think of this picture today. This picture was taken on my 21st birthday. Mom, Dad, Chris (Jay's buddy, what a funny guy!), Jay, and Grandma. I have no idea what they were all grinning about, but I love the smile on Jay's face in this picture. I miss the phone call that I'll never get from him today, "Lordy Lordy Kimmie's Forty"! I know that he'd joke with me about being "old" and offer to bring an emergency bottle of Geritol right over.
I love you Jay and missing you is an unbearable alternative to having you here.

Sunday, August 1, 2004
My 40th birthday is looming only days away. This will be the second birthday for me since Jay was killed.
All I can say is that, my thoughts are consumed with the birthdays that Jay will never have.
His 36th birthday, and every one to follow, was stolen from him. I still have his birthday card that I can never give him.
..I remember when we were little, just a bit before my birthday, Jay would "search and rescue". It was too funny. I'll never forget how he'd find something that I loved, but didn't pay a lot of daily attention to and he'd nab it...."for safe keeping". Then, he'd wrap it up and give it to me, all renewed, for my birthday! It may sound strange, but it was truly very cool, and quite clever I might add!
I never could manage to pull the same scheme on him, so I truly do have to give him full credit.
What I wouldn't give to tug his goatee right now....


Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I stumbled onto a message board where more buddies of Brogan & Urban have posted messages.
Every time that I read their crap about how we should "forget it", "get over it", "let it go", it just makes me so angry. How could I ever "forget" that I can no longer call my brother? How could I ever "get over" the fact that I can't give him a hug? How could I ever "let go" of my big little brother Jay?
The truth is, I can't.
Every single day I think about Jay getting to enjoy that weekend off for his birthday. I can imagine him telling Vickie as he left, "I love you Baby!" Thinking that he'd be home in just a couple of days tossing treats to Jess and BanBan, putting his work shirt back on and heading back to the shop making time for me, and Mom, and Dad to call to hear about his trip.
Every single day I think about Brogan & Urban flying through that intersection and hitting Jay...wrecking the motorcyle that he worked so hard to build, watching him roll over their car, hitting the pavement and rolling 15 feet away from his bike.
Every single day I think about Jay at that moment and I would give the air that I breathe to have been able to do something for him....hold his hand.....anything.
How could a person possibly "forget", "get over", or "let go" of that?
The sentence from the court was pathetic. The very least that we can do is follow up and do everything within our power to see to it that they are following the probation guidelines.
Jay always stood up for the people that he loved. It's our turn to do the same for him.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Emotional overload.
Firstly, in case anyone does keep up with this particular page....my page, I have to tell you that Mom has been tireless, thorough, and unrelenting. I can't even find the words to express myself except to say that I love her. She has always been and always will be mine and Jay's biggest cheerleader. She is the epitome of devotion, dedication and unconditional love. Mom, you're my she-ro


Thanks to Mom, we have much more information now. We have police records, medical records, even pictures. It's so hard to look through the hundreds of pages that document Jay's death.
I see HIS toxicology report and it makes me angry. I know that Mark Daniel Urban, who admitted in court that he had drugs in his system, HAS YET TO BE DRUG TESTED. That's so incredibly infuriating to me. All I can say is that rotten little shit can't hide from his karma.
There is one particular document in the tons of pages where Urban makes a plea to go home because of "a pregnant girl" who is 3 days overdue with his child. He wasn't so worried about the "pregnant girl" while he was partying it up the night he killed Jay in Myrtle Beach, but he sure was suddenly worried about her when he was faced with being arrested. Interesting that he didn't say "girlfriend", "fiancee" or "wife", just "pregnant girl".
I hope for "pregnant girl"'s sake, that he's taking more responsibility for his new baby than he has for anything else.
Do I sound angry? I am. As I read through the hundreds of pages that document my brother as a case number, I can't help but be angry. I'm angry at our government, our elected officials, our law enforcement, the attitude of our public, right down to Brogan & Urban, who, with their fun little weekend in Myrtle Beach, showed their "truth", their coward within.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Last week at work, my boss came through asking if anyone wanted some discount passes to Busch Gardens, my immediate reaction was "yeah!!! I'll pass those along to Jay and Vickie, I'm sure they'd love to take the boys...."
I caught myself before I said anything, but it left me in a strange mood. Should I have taken them anyway? Would Vickie want to take the boys? Would it be too overwhelming? I "what if-ed" myself into a near anxiety attack.
This week on the radio there's some contest that involves a trip to Sturgis for the BIG bike rally. All I could think was that Jay never got to go. Years ago, when I worked in Chicago, my friend and her partner went. They asked if I wanted anything from Sturgis. They weren't going for the rally, they were just going for fun. I remember saying, "Please!!! Bring me a t-shirt for Jay! He'd get a kick out of it." They did bring him a t-shirt and he's even wearing it in one of the pictures on the photoalbum page.
Yesterday I woke to find that my car had a flat tire. In the combined effort to get the tire changed, I had to move my motorcyle out of the way. I can't even begin to explain how strange and sad it was to climb onto it. I had the strange urge to open the gas tank and drop a match inside. Then, just as suddenly, I remembered Jay stuffing his big head into my little helmet and driving my tiny bike to the shop so that he could put a new front tire on it for me. He loved that I shared a bit of his love for riding.
I still felt conflicted sitting there. The headlight wouldn't even come on....the battery is long gone due to lack of use. It hasn't been started up in over a year. To keep it legal, I've maintained the tags, but haven't been able to put the stickers on the plate. Such a strange thing, but then there are many things, and some strange, that plague us in his absence.
Not one single day goes by that I don't miss him.....


Wednesday, June 23, 2004
I don't even know how to begin.....
The "visitation"....it was held at the very same place that Jay's was. It was so difficult to pull into the parking lot and walk into the building. I almost expected the employees to know me, as if they should be so keenly aware of my loss.
I saw Debbie and Andrea right away and I was immediately thrust into a state of empathy. It was so easy to imagine to what their loss could feel like. I hugged Andrea and lost my composure. We suddenly had "loss" in common. That, in and of itself, made me ache for Nancy's family.


Sunday, June 20, 2004
5:37am....it's been a full day, filled to the brim with emotion.
Nancy passed away today (technically, yesterday) and I ache so much for her loved ones. She had been so sick for such a long while, that passing was probably best for her, but I ache for them and their loss.
Today was also the 2nd Annual Jarman/Hicks Memorial Bike Show at Biker's Boulevard.
I can't begin to explain what it feels like to attend a "2nd Annual" event in memoriam to your brother, especially when you haven't really gotten a good grasp that he's not with you anymore.
I had an opportunity to talk with Andrea last night. Andrea is Nancy's youngest daughter....she and Jay were so very close growing up. Being close with her makes me feel just a bit closer to Jay. She shares our past.
I know that I speak for all of us when I say that we hurt for her..and Debbie, Kevin, and Doug. Grief...it's an emotion that draws you to closer, but it's an emotion that you dread to share.
I can only be grateful that we had the opportunity to see Nancy and affirm our love for her. She was a prominent figure in mine and Jay's childhood. and we loved her.
I'm glad that she's been surrounded by her loving family and I'm grateful that she didn't suffer any longer than she did.
My most sincerest condolensces to Debbie, Andrea, Kevin, Doug and Nancy's extended family. We share your loss and grieve along side of you.  


Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Today I felt such a need to update my mirror, but at an incredible loss for something to say. It's almost as if I just need to acknowlegde a quiet moment for Jay.


Friday, June 4, 2004
Today was a difficult day. I was bombarded with urges to call Jay. There were so many things that I wanted to talk to him about.
I found myself thinking about May 17 and trying so desperately to get to the hospital in MB. I thought about how "awful" that day was. Then I thought about how much worse each day since then has been.
I find myself looking back in time, and then, looking forward in time. It's almost as if I'm caught in a time warp of sorts. There is such a distinct road block to the past and the future just seems like more of what I experience now on a daily basis.
Little Jay had his high school graduation and Big Jay should have been there. Vickie had to send Little Jay off to summer camp by herself. I can only imagine the "separation anxiety" that she must have felt. Normally, Big Jay would have been there to tease and joke with her about it...in an effort to ease her grief. She has to do it alone now.
I hurt for her.
I can say that I know that Jay loved her with all of his heart. He respected Vickie and always did right by her. . I loved him so much for that.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004
I am so aware that today, May 18, we should be celebrating Jay's birthday. I am also aware that last year on this day all I could think about was how wrong it was that on the night of his birthday, I tried to sleep with the knowing that the next day I would be going to his wake, and the next day, his funeral. I was, and still am, in such a state of shock. I don't think that there is anything about May 17, 2003 that will ever dull in my memory and most things after that are a blur.
We are changed people now.
I, for one, wear my grief like skin. It is with me all the time, every day. It has become a part of me and will be with me until I am no longer of this earth. Such a tragic loss is not something that you can "get over" or "move on" from. It becomes you and you it. You envelope it and evolve into a being much different than you were before. Now I must learn to live in this new skin. It's not a task that I relish.
I mourn parts of myself along with Jay. There were aspects of myself that were dependent on him ... and they are no more.
I had given thought about taking a ride for him today. As the day wore on, I knew that I couldn't. The last real ride I had was with him and I think I'd like to keep it that way.
We had a family gathering planned at Grannie's house and Jay called me and asked if I wanted to ride our bikes out there. I thought it was SO sweet that he'd asked, but I didn't want to spoil his fun. I told him that I was "a big fat chicken" on my bike and I didn't want to ruin his ride on such a beautiful day. I remember him telling me something to effect of "don't be silly, it'll be fun!" He talked me into it. He promised that he'd go as slow as I wanted to go, we could pull over any time I wanted, and he didn't mind how long it took for us to get there. It was the best ride I ever remember having. He made me feel so safe. I think I've told this story before, but this is "my page", so I'm telling it again!
I swear, it took us two hours to travel 45 miles and he never complained once. He just grinned from ear to ear the whole while. It was a blast and I will cherish that ride forever. It was so unlike me to take such a risk, but like I said, he made me feel safe.
He always made me feel "safe". I always felt such comfort just knowing that he was close.
The year that has passed does nothing to ease the grief...... nothing to ease the pain. The time that has passed feels like a "moment". May 17, 2003 is so incredibly vivid in my mind, yet I can't remember who called 10 minutes ago to wish us well.
I remember in my youth being taught to 'say my prayers' and they would always begin with "As I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, Thy love guard me through the night and wake me with the morning light......God Bless Momma and Daddy and Jay and Grandma and GrandDad and Grannie....and..."
I say that prayer to this day, only now, all I can think of to say is "......just bless us...and I miss Jay.."
While there is no more celebration, this will always be "Jay's Day" to me and to my brother, my friend, I say, "I remember, I will never forget and I will miss you for all of my days. I love you. " -kimmiepoo


Friday, May 7, 2004
I see the time counter on the website and I can’t believe that in 10 days, we will have been without Jay for a year.
I still live in a strange sense of denial, while at the same time, I face the reality that time continues to pass.

One year with a new understanding of what “Justice” means in a practical sense. .
One year living in a renewed state of hell while Brogan and Urban carry on scot free.
One year of no holidays and no more family gatherings as we once knew them to be, because our family has been devastated.
One year as an only child.
One year of seeing my brother only in pictures.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004
A woman that I work with...her brother is sick. She came to work today and I couldn't help but notice the redness in her eyes....
This woman is an absolute delight. She brings a smile to my every work day, even when that seems like the most remote of possibilities.
I had brought a couple of pictures of Jay with me today. One was him in his "redneck swimming pool" and the other was us as kids with the St. Bernard puppies. I had told the girls at work about both of the pictures and just remembered today to take them with so that I could share.
I wasn't sure if I should share them after I saw the tears slip from her eyes, but then I thought maybe they would make her smile.
A few moments later, she asked "how do you stay so strong?" I don't feel strong and sometimes it's so much easier to share Jay's sense of humor than it is to scream with how much I miss him. She said that she finds herself wanting to memorize her brother's voice. I couldn't help but think that it's been almost a year since I've heard Jay's laugh, since I've heard his, oh so familiar, "whassup Kimmie-poo?" or his sing song voice, which never failed to crack me up, chiming "Happy Happy Joy Joy".
This morning, I had mentioned to mom that I wanted to start work on the "video" page for Jay's website. I watched some video this evening. I saw his smiling face..heard his voice..his laugh...it took me a moment before I could even feel the hot tears that wet my face.
I never in a million years, could ever have imagined that there would be a time when I couldn't call my brother just to say "hi, I love you". Maybe it's unusual in this day and age, but I love him so much and I miss him..my Big Baby brother.
I noticed the "hit counter" on the main page tonight. Six thousand, six hundred and two. That's six THOUSAND, six HUNDRED and TWO! I can almost see his silly grin and hear him go, "doh!". I know that he would be absolutely amazed and probably very flattered. All I can say is, Jay, you ain't seen nothing yet.


Friday, April 23, 2004
Yesterday I got an incredibly thoughtful card in the mail...
This card was from a wonderful woman that I met when I was in college.
Dona met Jay during our college years. She joined us on some family outings, stayed on "the boat" with us while it was still on the Carolina coast. We just touched base with each other a month or so ago after a long "lost" time.
Dona is a refreshing soul and always seemed so uncluttered to me....void of the need for manipulating people, she never seemed to have ulterior motives, she was just always herself in the most genuine of ways...fun, thoughtful and intrinsically good.
She reminded me that there is a "God inside us" and that each life is unique. "What makes a life 'alive' cannot be seen, and because it has no physical form, it therefore, 'lives' forever.
I am mindful to be grateful.


Monday, April 19, 2004
It's been such a long week already....
Forgiveness. A rite, a passage, or the incumbency of a Higher Power?
Some acts are truly unforgivable in my opinion. Brutality against children, animal cruelty, and the inhumanity of failing to offer assistance to a fellow human being who is suffering from your own hand.
It is not my place to forgive, or better yet, I don't feel that it is my responsibility to forgive.
I may be forced to co-habitate in a world that harbors the perpetrators of these acts, but I will never condone the behavior. Forgiveness comes from a being far greater than me, and for that, I am grateful.
We have been asked to "blow away the hate". While I realize that these requests are hardly well thought out before being sent to us, I am continually amazed. I only speak for myself when I say that "hate" is a strong word that I am not very uncomfortable with. I believe in karma. To give breath to hatred is to invite it into your reality.
The news is rampant with a new kind of "evil" these days.....
... animal cruelty involving a toy terrier weighing under two pounds that was kicked like a football. In my opinion, that is truly unforgiveable.
... police in Massachusetts decided not to press charges against an 8 year old that threw a donut at a passing motorist. The police joked about it. I thought it was ridiculous.....until the idea crossed my mind that unacceptable behavior starts somewhere.
There seems to be a blanket of apathy settling over the world. Everything is becoming so distorted. Crimes involving money and crimes involving drugs are prosecuted to the hilt, while people die every day at the hands of another and they get a slap on the wrist.


Sunday, April 11, 2004
Easter...hop hop...
We were talking at work the other day about Easter and what everyone's plans were. All of a sudden I had a "photo" Easter memory!
I remember the picture more than anything, it was too cute. We were at Grannie's house, Grannie is our dad's mom. Jay and I had the cutest little outfits on. I remember wearing a pink dress with white daisies, a white hat, gloves and white shoes. Jay was wearing the most precious yellow shorts! I think he wore a yellow shirt also and maybe a black belt. He seemed quite content in his outfit, but I'm sure that I probably kicked and screamed about wearing the dress. I just remember the picture of us standing in Grannie's driveway and Jay flashing his smile.
Jay never seemed to let "extraneous" things bother him. He embodied the cliche of "don't sweat the small stuff". I don't know if I ever really told him, but I envy him in that way. I can't help but think that it's because he was always so confident in himself....and rightly so.
In keeping with the way we have always been, I'd probably call Jay today and say, "hey sibling!!! Happy Hop Hop! I love you."
Instead, I just miss him.


Monday, April 5, 2004
Damn, I sit here so often at this hour of night and just look at this page...my mirror page...
I listen to the music and I turn around to just stare at Jay's workshirt that hangs on the outside of my closet door. I can't help but imagine him in it. It makes me smile and I'm off into wonderland.....
I remember dropping by to see him at work and he'd always give me a huge bear hug...and keeping with our tradition, I'd scratch his little goatee and give it a YANK!
I always got the biggest kick out of referring to anything about Jay as being "little"!! LOL!!
Oh boy did I pick on him as we were growing up and mom used to always say, "Jay, one day you'll be bigger than she is..." I always laughed a big laugh...until the day came that I realized mom was right!!
I won't go into the gory details, but I will NEVER forget the day when we both realized that Jay was, without a doubt, bigger than I was.
Jay's the most awesome-est "big" baby brother a girl could ever have.
It's still so hard for me to speak of him in the past tense...he's not "past tense". I realize that some people will probably think me nuts, but, hell, they've certainly thought me that for lesser reasons.
When I sit here, "with this page", I feel him.....I miss him...but, it's almost like "our space", almost as if time stops and I'm allowed to float freely through our common memories.
An interesting thought that I had today, I've always heard that "sleep is not cumulative", I think that missing Jay is definitely cumulative. I have saturations points and I "melt down"....I miss him more and more, it's neverending.....


Friday, March 26, 2004
I had a "moment" and had to read my previous post...
That was a pretty accurate, though slim, accounting of "the day".
Today at work, we listened to a different radio station. It was mostly '80's music. So much of it reminded me of Jay growing up. I could just see Jay and Dana thumping up the drive way in Jay's camaro with Billy Idol blaring "White Wedding". Funny, although at that time, we had a VERY different taste in music, Jay taught me an appreciation for "his" style....it was an acquired taste for me, but a long lasting one.
I'll have to remember to tell you a funny story from their youth....there are many, but one in particular always makes me laugh out loud..."Dana and the Barbed Wire" (and Jay saving him with sandwiches and soda).


Wednesday, March 24, 2004
It's been a strange few weeks. I've crossed paths with several old friends that remember Jay from his high school days....my college friends that got to know him. Any opportunity to share stories about him is a comfort of sorts.
It's been over 10 months and it still doesn't seem real.
I suppose that it's "synchronicity" at work that May 17, 2003 was such a strange day for me, even a hundred miles away. Strange enough, that it will forever remain vivid in my mind......
My life was in major transition, I had no way of knowing that only hours later, the hardship that was currently on my plate would seem like nothing.
I woke from a nap around 1:00am and stepped out on the porch, said hello to some neighbors who were still enjoying a warm evening outside with friends. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the power went out..it was approximately 1:30am. The neighbors came over with candles and we chatted for a while. As suddenly as it had gone out, the power came back on at about 3:30am. How syncratic that the crime log shows all crew leaving the scene of the hit-and-run at about the same time. I remember having a strange sense of feeling "unsettled".
A short while later, we turned in for the night. It seemed like only moments later when I woke to my mother's frantic voice over the answering machine, "KIMMIE WAKE UP, JAY'S BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT!!!!"
I could feel the terror in her voice, and while I usually try to remain calm in crisis, it took great effort to keep my voice steady to reassure her, "Mom, I'm sure everything's okay....be careful.....I'm on my way". I hung up the phone and became a pawn of my own personal panic. "okay...this can not be happening" "Stay Calm" "I'm sure he's fine"
That was my mantra. A mental safety net allowed me the wits to make phone calls to arrange for care of my household for a brief while, call Dad, get directions to the hospital...details, handle the details.
I told Carmen, trying to convince myself, as we headed out of Raleigh, "I'm sure it's just a broken leg....you don't think it could be something else..? ....It's a broken leg...I know he was on his bike and it might not be pretty, but he's okay....he's got to be okay..I'm sure it's just a broken leg..... " (Carmen lost her own brother just a few years ago in a situation somewhat similar...I'm sure she was wrestling her own demons.)
The drive seemed to be taking forever. I turned my hazard lights on...my instinct was telling me to "hurry". I was careful, but determined.
Blue lights.
I can not begin to tell you all of the hateful thoughts that were coming to my mind as realized that I had no choice but to pull over to the side of the road as the blue lights danced in my rear view.
That pompous ass sauntered to my window and asked, "What's yer emergency...?"
Reality sent a shockwave through me as I cried, "...my brother has been in an accident and I'm trying to get to him before he dies.." I completely lost it. It was the first time that I cried since mom called. I'd tried so hard to deny what I felt was happening.
Mr. Police Officer man asked me what hospital he was in. I told him. He waddled back to his patrol car to call it in. I told Carmen that he had about two minutes and then he'd just have to chase me to Myrtle Beach. I was not about to sit on the side of the road in some podunct SC province while Jay's life could be trickling away.
Police Officer man sauntered back to my window and proceeded to lecture me on how "blah blah blah", honestly, that's all I heard. I really expected that once he knew that I was serious, and honest, that he may arrange an escort...yeah, I know, how naive.
Meanwhile, Mom was calling the Highway Patrol, trying to get assistance in her effort to get to the trauma center. Traffic was crazy, no one would yield...everyone was too caught up in their momentary single-mindedness to offer the least bit of courtesy.
It seemed like days between the phone call and the time that we arrived at the trauma center. I parked the car and was terrified to go in. I saw Mark and he hugged me, with tears in his eyes. I've always loved Mark, but his tears did not sink in. His presence was a comfort. I couldn't even form appropriate sentences and all I could ask was, "how do I get to him...?" Mark showed me the way to Jay's room.
I walked in.... Mom was there, I saw Jay and I was so relieved. It seemed like I'd been so worried for nothing. Mom hugged me and said, "..you know..?"
"Know what?" She said, "...Kimmie, he's 'brain dead'..."
No........ NO! Oh, GOD NO!!!! This can't be happening!!!! This is NOT happening!!!!
I felt my breath leave me.
That's just not the sort of thing that's supposed to happen. We were a relatively normal family, living a relatively normal life.
I sat with him and held his hand...his big, baby brother hand...rough, from years of hard work. Everyone let me have a moment alone with him. I felt silly...I felt like, that at any moment, someone would rush in and tell us that a mistake had been made and that he would really be okay. That never happened.
There is no possible way that I could ever fully explain what it was like to be in that trauma room with Jay. Years of memories flooded my mind....and at the same time, such an incredible sense of loss for so many experiences that we'd not shared yet.
My soul ached, for mom....... dad...........and for myself. That moment of holding his hand and telling him how much I love him will be with me forever. I held his hand, but couldn't help anticipating a reassuring squeeze back that never came.
A huge part of me died with him.


Sunday, March 14, 2004
I look at the opening page of this site and see Jay's smiling face...god, I miss him.
I think of all the conversations that we could've had since that day.

I can't help myself, I hope those responsible feel karma enveloping them.

To Jay,

I miss you. I love you and I never would've dreamed that you wouldn't be here with me. Know that I keep you close to my heart in everything that I do. I love you.

yo sibling,

Kimmie


Tuesday March 9, 2004

Cannonball by Damien Rice

"Still a little bit of your song in my ear
Still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on

Stones taught me to fly
Love taught me to lie
Life taught me to die
So it's not hard to fall
When you float like a cannon..."

Another song that reminds me of Jay lately. Even though we had very different musical tastes, we seemed to share a common ground. I'm not sure if he'd like this song or not, but he'd appreciate my love for it.
We revamped the website. It's taken a lot of work and now that the bulk of it is done..I realized that I hadn't written here in a while.
I feel I still have so much to digest and just "sit with".
We've had such strange weather here..snow one week and then hot, sunny days the next week. The warm sunny days carry the sounds of motorcycles in the wind and I can just hear Jay say "it's ridin' weather Kimmie!"
I miss him every single day. I miss his smile, his jokes, the mischievous twinkle in his eye, the sound of his voice, I miss the comforting feeling of just knowing that he's here.


Monday, February 16, 2004
After court, mom said that she wanted me to post the statement that I read to the judge. Here is that statement:

"I have given countless hours to this idea.... a "victim's statement". A statement of how this "event" has altered my life.
I feel that I have so much to say and then, that there's just nothing that really can be said. This has been so much more than just an "event"...it has been a moment to moment struggle to deal with the most devastating thing that has ever happened in my life.
The one most overwhelming impact that I have felt, is that I suddenly feel so very alone in this world. Sibling relationships are supposed to be the longest relationship of your lifetime and losing a sibling is like losing your past, your present and your future. I feel that so very much.
Jay was the only person in this world who could come close to sharing my own personal experience. Our childhood memories, growing up in our family together, our accomplishments and our disappointments. Now I am an only child.
The hardest parts now are the times when I instinctively reach for the phone to call him and midway through dialing the numbers...reality hits me.
I will never see the pride in his smile as he watches his boys graduate....get married.... I'll never see the twinkle in his eyes as he holds his first grandchild.
I've heard some people say that the defendant's "have their whole lives ahead of them".....well, so did Jay. At one day shy of his 36th birthday, Jay had HIS whole life ahead of him...a life he shared with Vickie, their boys, our mom and dad, our family..and a life that he shared with me.
Two people are responsible for cutting Jay's life short, and they should be held accountable for their actions and the choices that they made that forever altered my life and that of my family."


Monday, February 16, 2004
It seems like so much has happened.....and also like nothing at all.
I find myself totally disgusted with our so called "legal system", the population at large and just the general state of things in our world today.
Just a few days ago, a local law enforcement officer was murdered. They found the man responsible. Surprise, surprise, at the time of the murder, the man was on probation. I also heard, as some of the investigating officers were being interviewed, that they were conducting a "no holds barred" investigation. Why don't they do that for every murder victim??
I'm still somewhat numb after our recent court date. It's difficult to sort through the emotions that walked out of that courtroom with me that day.
This has truly been a learning experience. While I have had my experiences that have taught me that the law is not always on your side, even though you do the right things and follow the law. I would never have dreamed that our system could be so very badly broken and backward.


Friday, January 30, 2004
Well, we've got the court date. I suppose that there are still a few uncertainties surrounding it, but it sounds like it will definitely happen, even though it may not be the only court date. I'll elaborate on that at a later time.
It's strange, but I don't feel at liberty to say very much at this moment, although there is so much that I would like to say.
I can feel already, that this next week will be a challenge. I have to remind myself to "just take the next step". One baby step at a time.
I constantly remind myself of how grateful I am for the support that we've received....from the guest book entries, the incredible response from the motorcycle community, co-workers, friends....I pull from that on a daily basis.
I guess on that note, I really should say thank you to all of the wonderful people that I work with. I hope that I tell them enough....but their support has been a great comfort. Just the understanding and thoughtfulness that they give, it's so very much appreciated. That might not seem like such a big deal to a lot of people, but I've only known these people since June. I don't think they realized when I started work there that it had barely been two weeks since my brother's death. Every day was a challenge and still is. I wanted to put my best foot forward, but I was an emotional wreck, and in all honesty, I still am. Just another cruel twist of fate to be in a position to have to start a new job while trying to cope with such a devastating loss. Again, I remind myself that some things happen for a reason...and meeting the people that I work with has been a wonderful thing. Each and every one of them has made an impact on me and I am grateful.


Tuesday, January 20, 2004
 I got a call from Stephen today, Jay's boss.
I haven't been able to bring myself to change the address book in my cell phone and when he called, the caller id showed "Jay". It doesn't tell me if it's the work number or the home number, so I really expected to hear Vickie's voice when I answered, but instead I heard a deep, male voice.....
I had such a strange moment...I felt as if I might've been waking up from this terrible dream.
It took me a second to realize that it was Stephen. He was calling to let me know that the bike that Jay had finished right before the accident had made EasyRiders "Top 200 Bikes of 2003". He also told me that the bike that Jay had just started working on is now finished. Mark finished it and it's beautiful. It's going to be at the EasyRider show in Charlotte this weekend.
I wish so much that I could have the opportunity to tell Jay how very proud I am of him one more time. He's the best brother a girl could ever have.


January 19, 2004
There is such a huge part of me that longs for the time when I can feel completely comfortable in sharing all that I've learned about our so called "legal system".
I've been reading all week about a woman who, under the influence of alcohol and talking on her cell phone, ran into a truck, killing the driver, leaving his wife in a vegetative state and their baby, born through cesarean section 5 months after the accident, to be raised by the grandparents, had issue with her sentence.
Part of her sentence was to carry a picture of the man that she killed in her wallet for the duration of her 5 year of probabation. She had "issue" with that.


January 9, 2004
We have news of a possible court date.....THE court date.....as badly as I have wanted to hear that, it has made for a sad and odd day.....

For those of you who don't know...Jay and I both have been "musical" since mom took it upon herself to sign us up for music lessons about 20 or so years ago. All we could say was "hmm..okay, what are we playing?!" Jay took drum lessons and I took guitar lessons. It's really quite amazing how it turned out, because we were both pretty natural with our instruments. How did she know?!
Although Jay didn't keep his drumset or play all the time, he was the consumate "beat keeper". I played in a few bands and met lots of musical people. I went to see some old friends that are celebrating their 10 years of making music together last night.
We said some brief hello's and one asked me how things are going. I haven't seen these people in a couple of years and all I could say was "my brother was killed". It seemed like such a socially retarded thing to just blurt out without warning, but everything else that has happened in my life since I have seen them really pales in comparison. What does a person say in response to that?!
I felt so bad. I felt bad for wearing my pain and my grief so blatantly on my sleeve and then I felt bad again that I might have made her feel uncomfortable. There just wasn't time to talk about it at the moment, but I couldn't just "smile and nod" and pretend that life had been sweet since I saw them last.
They performed a song that they had written about Matthew Shepard and I sat on my stool and the tears just rolled. I saw "The Laramie Project" a few months ago. It's a story about Matthew Shepard who was beaten, tortured and left to die, alone, tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. At the time that I saw the movie, I was working on my "Victim's Impact Statement" in preparation for the eventual criminal case on Jay's behalf. The statement that Matthew Shepard's father gave in that movie was gut wrenching...heart breaking. It moved me from a very sacred part of my soul and I hope that I can give Jay a statement that comes from that deepest part of my being. I left the show tonight feeling very different and very removed from society at large. I feel like an outcast from humanity. There is not one single facet of my life that Jay has not touched in some special way.....and I feel such incredible loss in such a multitude of ways, shapes and sizes.


January 3, 2004
A new year...
I don't think that I can ever recall such sadness surrounding the beginnng of new year. In years gone by, I was always excited and looked forward to what a new year might offer. Now, all I can think of is that Jay seems even further away. It's a new year without him and a new year with his killers still not behind bars.

 

December 16, 2003
A friend asked me the other day, "when did Santa Claus stop coming for you and Jay?"
This year.
This will be the first year that Santa doesn't come. I know that may sound strange to some of you, but it's the truth. As Jay and I grew into adulthood, Santa came for even more members of our family, not just the "children". Jay and I shared memories of Christmas being "magic"....Santa was "magic". Christmas was a time of family, giving, and selflessness.
If I could give anyone an amazing gift, it would be to experience a Christmas morning through our eyes. Every year we'd reminisce on our Christmas's passed. There really aren't words to describe it! There was one Christmas rule in our house, you had to go to SLEEP before you could get up to see if Santa had come. Jay and I had made a pact....that whomever woke up first, they would wake the other and we would go to the Christmas tree together and see what Santa might have brung. I ALWAYS woke up first....and I'd always sneak in for a second all by myself before I'd wake him up. I never ever touched anything, I just wanted to experience the magic in a moment of silence.
The gifts were NEVER wrapped, but displayed like an F.A.O. Swartz display window that just begged you come inside. I will never forget slipping into the living room one Christmas morning around 3am to find a Suzuki dirt bike in the middle of the room!!! I think I ran to wake Jay up before I even saw anything else!
We tried to be quiet and contain our excitement until we just couldn't stand it anymore and we'd just have to wake up mom and dad so they could see!! They were always amazed that Santa thought we'd been so good.
The other part of our holiday that grew to mean more and more to me as an adult, was the Christmas Eve gathering that we always had. Everyone was welcome..we had an open door policy. We didn't have to ask if so-and-so could come, everyone was welcome.....especially those that had no family close by. I love that people felt welcomed and part of our family. I love the casual way that people grew to feel like they "belonged" there.
There is no way that I could put into words my amazing memories of Christmas and while they will never be again, I will always remember Jay's smile when we talked and laughed about it.
This year Mom and I visited with Vickie and the boys for a small while and went to the church to leave a token by Jay's stone. As I stood there in the cold, I remembered his funeral in the heat of May. I felt a whirlwind of emotions....the sadness of that moment, the incredible grief that pierces my soul every day, the disbelief that the "men" who killed him were quite possibly enjoying a holiday feast with their families.
Since we lost Jay, time seems to pass, but stand still at the same time...

 

November 17, 2003
Six months...one half of a year, and I still have trouble believing that it's true.
I read something very interesting on the website for Compassionate Friends. "It is said that when your parents die, you lose your past; when your spouse dies, you lose your present; and when your child dies, you lose your future. However, when your sibling dies, you lose your past, your present,and your future. After all, the relationship between siblings is potentially the longest of their lives." One thing that they don't say, however, is that, in my opinion, because the death of a loved one effects every single relationship that you have, everyone that is touched by it, in a sense, loses their past, their present and their future in some way.
Reading that did provide some clarity for me though. I had struggled to find words to convey the intensity of my own personal loss. That one statement provided me with a way to explain to friends the magnitude of what has happened and how it has changed me forever.
I have to thank my friend Angie for sharing information about Compassionate Friends. She lost her son, Tyler, in February. While I find comfort in knowing that she understands, I regret so much that we have this in common. Like Jay, Tyler was an amazing person, quick witted and sarcastic like his mother, I wish I could have met him..
I've read that the first year is the most difficult, that's when all the "firsts" happen without your loved one. But, the first's don't stop happening. Sure, we'll have the first Thanksgiving..the first Christmas, but then we'll also have other events that probably won't occur in our first year without Jay. Little Jay and Joey will graduate from high school and go on to graduate from college. Chances are they'll both get married and have children of their own. Each event will be another "first". From where I stand, the grieving goes forever. Every day without Jay is one more first, each just as difficult as the one before.


It has truly been a difficult evening...
an interesting thought occurred to me as I spent time with pictures and videos of Jay tonight, the men who killed him should have been made to attend his funeral.
Remembering his best friend since the first grade recall all of the fun that they'd had and how they had remained friends for thirty years....and how he, Dana, felt like a brother to me because he and Jay were so close....listening to Stephen, his "boss", as he broke down trying to find the words to describe Jay's goodness...Jay was so much more than just an employee. To be witness to the overwhelming grief that we, his family and friends, have experienced should be mandatory.
There are no words to express what it felt like to be a "thirty something" adult attending her baby brother's funeral. It's just wrong and should never be...I'm sure that only touches the tip of the proverbial iceberg as to what our parents must have felt.
I feel such an incredible, continuous, overwhelming sense of loss. I miss him. I miss him so very much.
I used to call him "sibling" as a joke..such a clinical term for the relationship that we shared, I found humor in the irony of the implication. He is the only person in this world that could come close to "sharing my personal experience". For some of you, I'm sure you have no clue what I mean, and that's okay. However, there are a few that probably understand exactly.



This is one of my favorite pictures of Jay and I together. Our good buddy, George, is in the background. I don't remember when Jay met George, but the whole family instantly loved him. He's a good guy.
I think this was taken around the time that I had left home for college and Jay was finishing up high school, or had just finished. We'd outgrown the sibling rivalry phase and actually liked each other!
He was doing all kinds of neat stuff...scuba diving, skiing, sailing and always souping up a car in his free time.
Jay actually lived on this boat with our folks and two dogs for a while! They sailed to the Florida Keys and anchored there for a couple of years. He really seemed to like the Keys. I used to love calling them "my family, the boat people".

I got some new dry erase markers for my mirror today...it's strange, the things you do when missing him gets to be "too much".

Every time I hear this song, which is a lot these days, I always think of him riding his bike on a sunny day. There's a picture of him riding, looking over his shoulder at the camera... that's what I picture in my mind. I hope to add that picture to the site soon.

- John Denver, Sunshine on My Shoulders

A dear friend, and my spiritual mentor, shared this song with me.
She said that it made her think of Jay. It's very much the sort of song that I can hear myself playing. I hope that one day I can play this song for him and make him proud.

 

And on that note.....
I made it through my own birthday a week or so ago, as much as I was not looking forward to it. I thought of Jay as I was invited to sit in and play with some wonderful artists. My mind was a blur, I felt like I had 2 right hands as I tried to play...but I did it for him. He was always so supportive of me and my music....the stories I could tell (and probably will)! To borrow words from Michelle Malone, "I have got the strength for two tonight" and that night, I know where the strength came from....


My best friend turned me onto Train a few years ago and I've loved them ever since. This song always wraps itself around my heart when I hear it. It's almost like an anthem to me... to do everything I can to keep his memory alive, to remember that his wonderful spirit is never far from me, to make him proud, and to never ever give up..to do what I can do to find justice for him, justice for the entire family that he left behind, justice for his friends and the people that love him.