A Tapestry of Recollections, Recollected.

Shared by Daniel Joseph on September 27, 2012

When I attempt to hone in on a specific outstanding personal memory of my cousin Brian, not one comes to mind. On the contrary... I have a myriad of memories, an abundance of recollections that span throughout both his and my lifetime. And each one stands out uniquely with distinction. It would be a Herculean effort to merely fixate and focus on just one... The bounty of experiences firmly etched in my mind all weave into a semblance of personal tapestry, all relating to my cousin Brian who serves as its foundry.

I was there to 'meet' you right when you were born in August 1980 - Right after a summer barbecue gathering. I bore witness to you as you grew up through the years and fondly recall the numerous visits to "your cousins down the shore" as well as accompanying us on a number of personal adventures to various far flung places. The Pocono Mountains, The Wildwoods, Philly, San Francisco, and perhaps most especially, Lake Tahoe of which you considered paradise on Earth. Perhaps that was the most outstanding memory I happen to possess of you... But then I am reminded of Thanksgiving dinners throughout the years, Christmas gatherings, family get togethers, intrepid outings, and so much more. Personal jokes and conversations deep into the night... A passion and zest for living that expressed itself like no other... And a sense of purpose of what mattered most in Life itself. It would be fiction to say there was never any friction but it was nothing significant and never a lasting barrier between us. Truly, dull moments were completely and utterly non-existent. 

The news of your passing will forever impress itself upon me. On a cold January morning, just days before my 40th birthday of which I was to experience a personal Life milestone of my own, my mom {"Aunt Deb"} appeared at my front doorstep. I was groggy, half awake, and in my 'skivvies' when she insisted that she woke me with good reason. I found out what had happened and nothing has ever been quite the same since. The days that followed were nothing short of surreal. No one could come to terms with the fact that you were gone... This was an impossible happening. After the funeral, all of "the cousins" and then some gathered for hours together at The Red Light Tavern, collectively sharing our fondest memories of you and paying homage to your Life in perhaps the most fitting way possible. You would have been proud of me as since that time as I have loosened up a bit, and learned to value opportunities for family interactions as a means to emphasize what is most essential - not status, treasure, or career but rather the pursuit of Quality of Life and living it as opposed to merely existing haplessly. Every time I undertake this new trajectory, I think of you looking 'down' at me or perhaps standing by my side, snickering and pleasantly surprised to see me borrowing a few pages from your own book. Better late than never my cousin?

Hey, here's something I want to share with you... No one else knows about this so it will be our secret. After your funeral and spending the following day with "the cousins" and crashing over your Mom and Dad's house, I woke up with the very worst hangover ever. That may not be saying much considering I seldom imbibe but I am sure you would have ahem, 'approved'. Once I got my bearings established, I made my way along the 80-90 mile jaunt back to my home turf in West Wildwood. I had already made a few stops dropping off "Seanie" and a few mutual friends who attended your funeral services and was pulling into my driveway.

During the way home, a gentle yet persistent snowfall manifested contrasting perfectly with an atypical slate grey winter sky - very reminiscent of something one would expect from a Norman Rockwell painting. Just as I was about to get out of my car, the song "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks came on the radio and I decided to stay and listen to the song as its somber tone seemed to perfectly suit my mood and sentiments. As I sat in my car on that cold yet somehow poignantly beautiful late January afternoon, the falling snow complimented "Seasons In The Sun" too perfectly. Yeah, it's just a mawkish treacly '70s pop song but man, then and there everything REALLY hit me all at once. I had just lost my cousin and extended sibling, I was now 40 years old, and whatever vestiges of youth and slivers of relative "innocence" was gone. The cold was bracing, the snow was falling, and my heart was broken. And I was crying. Finally, the reality of your passing was realized - Life was in a cruel mindset and a harsh taskmaster. The page had been forcibly turned and a sad, abject chapter was being written. I wanted none of it. All of those memories we shared together and the unique recollections I had of you came flooding back to me and made a dent upon my sobriety. There's now a conspicuous absence of one of the most notable players from the personal lineup of cast and characters on my Life's stage and I know I'll never find a replacement for that role and part. Somehow I know that once the curtain falls once and for all... I'll be seeing you. But until then, I need to mend the hole left in my heart from your departure. "Exit, Stage Right... Go out gentle into that good night and seek the Light." 



Shared by Bobbiejo Possinger- Smith on February 7, 2011

The memories I have of Brian, are and always will be dear to my heart, One that i will never in my life time forget. Brian and I are Cousin's not throught the Smith side, but his mother Bonnie, and My grandpa Ron Boyer are brother and sister's.. So we went campin ever year at konobles on memorial day weekend, until my sister and I moved to Florida.. But when we were kids, the one memory i would like to share is.. Brian and Becky we have some kinda of a problem, which was family doesn't in one point in there life or the other.. Brian at the sper of the moment decided to punch his sister in the noise.. He got in sooo much trouble... As they grow up there became the closest family i have ever seen.. When I talked to him in June 2010, I asked him Brian, who is ur bestfriend and he told me " BobbieJo Becky is my bestfriend and always will be i love my sister more then anything"... It touched me soo much.... Too my Cousin, Brian you are god's greatest Angel, please watch over us forever.. And Konoble's May 2011 is in Memory of u...

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