Boo Hoo

By: pbcmedia

Oct 10 2008

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Blogs, cancer, Death, Friends, PHOTO BLOGGING


Focal Length:85mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

My brother died 10 years ago on this October 12th holiday weekend. The trees on that day had more color than in this photo I took yesterday of a home near the center of my town. (I changed the name of course)

As I remember it, there was more color and definitely more wind as it swirled the yellow, orange, and red leaves furiously by his window.  I sat on the floor of his bedroom while he slept watching those leaves, listening to their light touch brushing up against the windows in his corner room.

I talked softy–when he would open his eyes–of things and people he loved.  The house at Buzzards Bay that I had closed up for the winter the day before.  His children: Alice who had just arrived from Washington, DC, his sons, John, Robert, Timmy, his wife, Nancy and of his Notre Dame football team and his life long friends, Dave, Charlie, Jim, who had gathered in South Bend the previous weekend for the annual football game reunion.  This was the first time they were there without him.  I told him that Jim had called me from the seedy, noisy bar they always met in, “The Linebacker”.  They sounded, I told him, as he might expect they would: not entirely sober.  He smiled.

I went home that night and wrote his eulogy and he died early that next morning.

The rest is the rest and although I have written about this day before in an earlier post, I  wanted to mark this day, in this 10th year since he died, in a week of other kinds of losses, with as gentle an image as the curve of that final smile and as light a sound as those falling leaves brushing up against his window.

©Pat Coakley 2008


12 comments on “Boo Hoo”

  1. Beautiful picture… even more beautiful writing. I so love it when you combine the two. My favorite is still of your mother and her compact. But then, that is me.

    You have an amazing eye Pat.

    I am sending you a big hug… simply because you make me want to be more creative and expand my own horizons.

  2. pat, this is so moving and gentle like the rustling leaves and the comings and goings of seasons, and makes me remember what is true and what is important and what is beautiful and i am inspired many thanks your minds eyes are such a wonder to behold

  3. Your artistry, Pat, is so tenderly evident here.
    Ten years and yet 10 minutes ago, for the memories that place and season stir again.

    So very moving, sometimes your posts ought to come with a proviso that a tissue box should be nearby.

    I feel this moment, understand what you’re describing, know from the heart that seat on the floor that was your station during those last hours….

    One thing for certain, your brother had a fitting eulogy.

  4. Pat, do you realise how beautifully you write? I know we all love your photos, but your words are so tender here that I now need tissues, just as Bonnie mentioned. I also love this image of the house sign with Boo Hoo on it. However do you find these things? Your muse must be a very busy muse indeed. I hope you get through the weekend without too much pain. Anniversaries can be tough. Hugs to you.

  5. Amber girl, creativity has saved me and I mean it this week. Every day doing something. I have learned a great deal about the power of it when one is in a powerless state. I think I shall do more, in fact, with this whole concept. Thanks for your encouragement!
    BL: 10 years yet 10 minutes ago. So very true. Leave it to you to put three paragraphs into 6 words. Your gaze always helps me.
    Epic, When I need the tissue box while writing, I know I’m saying something that at least has an audience of one. I am always grateful when it reaches through to someone else as well. While the home exists in my town, I changed the names of the owners to “Boo” and “Hoo”. It’s interesting, at first I was going to be a slight spin of Halloween, and I was going to put the names of famous yummy candies, like “Snickers” and “Caramels” where the names were. Then, I was going to put “Boo” as in scary Boo! But, then those trees kept reminding me of my brother. So, it became Boo Hoo cuz I certainly have done alot of that in relation to his death. So, there you go the anatomy of a blog choice! I am just so frigging happy the market is closed that I am going to have a good weekend, no matter what!

  6. Pat- I too wondered about the Boo Hoo and now that you’ve explained it to us, I realize even more, how you see so far beyond the surface of what exists.

    The only market I’m thinking about today is the Farmers’ market where I loaded up on mangos and mustard greens and one perfect home grown watermelon the size of a small canteloupe.

    Let’s give our breaking brains a rest this long weekend.

    Big hugs to you.

  7. I loved this…and can’t help thinking that even your brother would give you the nod on it, and be very pleased.
    I am constantly amazed at your ability to put the stuff of your experience together like this! The humor as well as the pain. In your plays and short stories as now in your blogs, you point to some truth that we know, but never thought of in quite the way you show us.
    No wonder Dode gave you the cards.

  8. Stories like this go to show that some losses matter and some don’t (like the ones on Wall St).
    I had another bunch of people over for barbecue dinner last night and I found myself contemplating how it’s our relationships that enrich our lives and not the material things.

  9. Tipota, I wanted to wait till I went to your site before I commented. You were there! I was thinking you had stopped for a while to paint! Oh, how refreshing it was for me to deal with your world of paint and video and words from such an original soul. I am in Falmouth right at the moment having attending several gatherings yesterday and will go soon for a walk with my hostess and her boyfriend and their three dogs on a walk around a harbor nearby. I’ll give you a shout out when I see the water. Surely, you must live within it where ever you are.
    BL: Breaking brains, another nice phrase. The only problem is if you try to give yourself a break AND you include people in your attempt the chances are you can’t get away from conversation. My hostess told me last night however that she hadn’t opened her 401K forms for 10 years so I’m going to start drinking whatever water she’s been drinking and see how that goes.
    Aww, Mary. Means so much to me. Your words and you.
    Razz, It’s not that I disagree with you in the larger point, but security is essential to well being, however we define it. And, all of us, define it in the world we live in. And, part of security for many of us includes finances. It pays for that barbecue sauce, you know what I mean? So, tho, I know the truth of what you are saying…money comes and goes and can be earned back if lost and isn’t as important as friendship, I suggest that if you try to tell that to someone who is unemployed for months these days, I think you’d be looking for an exit strategy from the social gathering. And, I don’t want you upended in some thorny bush! Those days are over, right?

  10. I’m with Razz here. So many things simply don’t matter anymore . . .
    I’ve missed you, Pat.
    (Have you ever seen “The Barbarian Invasions”? It’s a touching and humorous film about a life coming to an end. You might appreciate it . . .

  11. Your assignment is up @ The Cheek . . .

  12. Your brother was lucky to have a sister such as you and you, him. Knows you don’t want hugs but I send anyways just because I actually love them and I understand the loss, I know those motions, these motions.

    You oks?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: