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Thursday, September 1, 2011

How one punch...

Remember the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"?
Remember how George, the main character played by Jimmy Stewards,  finds that his life is too hard and considers ending it?
Then, he meets an angel, who shows him how George's life is affecting so many people around him. Yes, yes and yes! So many people are touched by us, by simple things in our midst that we never think about.

I'm looking at our lives right now after Brian's passing.  Even though I will never know what actually happened the night he was hit, many people saw the assault, and they will think about the event and how it could have been different, both for Brian, for his friends, for the very person that gave him that mortal blow.  All those young people will be affected by that event, for days, for months.  They will talk about it, will warn their friends and relatives, will associate the one punch in anger as the fatal blow that forever changed their lives too.

One punch to the face.

The family and immediate friends came together and had a memorial. But, Brian's many co-workers and even his animals were not aware of how their lives would change forever in just a few days.  Projects had to be re-assigned, paperwork redirected, appointments and schedules changed. I know this because I had Brian's daily calendar with me after we picked it up at the police station, and there were reminders going off all the time.  Our boy's high tech phone scheduled, reminded him of times and places needing him, paid his bills, navigated him to places he had never been to, even listed the grocery needs he had.

I'm looking at his life in awe. He had officiated at one of his friend's wedding; he had applied for a patent, had just solved a major problem with a device he was building. He had saved every penny to buy a house. Had done so because he wanted a dog! Then, his nesting instincts kicked in and he looked for the love of his life.  His life was full of exciting possibilities slowly turning into realities.

Hi dog Butters is with a young friend in Long Beach, across the street from her old house. His cat Newkie is with us, in a home surrounded by giant trees and water. She's adjusting, cuddling up on Brian's blankets we brought up with us.

I'm not mentioning the obvious: how his fiance' life has changed! How everything she was dreaming has changed. Choosing a life partner, building dreams and envisioning your future are at the heart of human endeavors. The cost of this loss to her is limitless!

I'm not counting all the expenses that come with this event. Not just for the funeral, for the Memorial, for the settling of his estate. I'm thinking about the cost of investigating, preparing for the trial, court time, legal representation. I'm thinking about all the people who will miss their work, their families, their other obligations.

I can imagine how his neighbors in Long Beach feel every time they see Butters on a walk, at the dog park, chasing a ball.

I know my neighbors here in Oregon all know the fragility of life; they are mostly senior citizens, used to seeing a moving truck disassemble a household after someone dies at 90.

We are not used to seeing a young man's life disassembled!


32 comments:

ellen abbott said...

it's scary how fast one's life can change.

Dawn said...

Oh my heart.....It Is SO VERY true...
One "seemingly small" action can change the course of MANY lives. It can result in HUGE changes and re-routes.
Makes you stop and think before you take the next step. Where does it all lead....
hugs))

Wander to the Wayside said...

You're so right, Rosaria, that we just can't know how one event in one person's life can change so many things - somewhat like that proverbial pebble hitting the water and the ripples going out from there. I looked up the newspaper article on Brian's death, and it seems so senseless. Certainly the young man who administered the blow didn't anticipate the ultimate result, any more than a drunk driver would anticipate hitting another car and killing two children. Senseless, not premeditated, but the result of bad judgement and perhaps bad character in the first place. And so many lives changed in that one moment.

And now to have to go thru the investigation and trial. So so sorry that you will have to have this drag on for who knows how long. You know who I keep thinking about? The friend who dropped Brian off at his house, thinking all was well and that he'd see him later. I hope he doesn't have any residual 'guilt' that he didn't 'notice something was wrong' from the blow to the head. But I'm sure he must have thought 'what if ...'. So sad for everyone.

Sorry, Rosaria - I didn't mean to carry on like that! I must seem like a stalker following this a bit, but I think many of us have read your story and said 'but for the grace of ...'.

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

" Think before you act", "Think before you speak", It only takes an instant, one wrong step, to change both yours and others entire world.
I'm so sorry that so many people's lives will forever be changed by this persons failure to do the above. XO

Eva Gallant said...

The repercussions of our actions are wide reaching. So sorry that the repercussions of the person's act have caused you and so many others great pain.

Amanda said...

oh rosaria — my heart goes out to you and to all your dear family.

you mention it's a wonderful life — i love that movie and we watch it every year as a family, religiously. there are times throughout the year that i think of george bailey and how every part of his life affected everyone else's. from all the amazing things you mentioned he was involved in, it is clear your dear brian's life affected those of many, many others as well ~

Hilary said...

This is so true. So much revolves around each and every life. "If only" is a very sad way to live. And violent acts so very senseless. I hate this for you.

Retired English Teacher said...

Rosaria,
You have captured the abrupt ending of a young person's life so well. My heart is just breaking with the senselessness of it all. I too want to just scream, "Why?" I want to stop life and have a do over.

I know what you are going through as you sort through so much of your son's life. I understand the expense. I understand the legal ramifications.

I am so sorry for all who have been affected. Brian's life was amazing. He was amazing. I hope you find some solace in that.

Roberta said...

I have no words for the senseless loss of your son. Words escape me. And now to have to go through a trial and all the re-living of the event that will bring. Be well my online friend.

Maggie May said...

It was a tragic loss and I hope that the person who did it will get caught. Someone somewhere surely knows something.
In the meantime, my heart goes out to you.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Grandmother said...

Even as I offer support from afar, I hope you seek support closer to home. Support groups exist and put you together with those who know from the inside what you're going through. You don't have to explain and that can be a relief. Blessings on you.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

A moment of rage and so many lives changed. I continue to be heartbroken for you over Brian's untimely death, Rosaria. It was obvious in the memorial video how many people loved him, how many lives he had touched and how many lives would be changed forever due to that one moment in time.

yaya said...

How many times I have heard the phrase: "It's MY life"...from teenagers to college age kiddos who don't want or think they need any advice or guidance...what they and maybe many people don't understand is it's not just "YOUR" life..things people do can help, hurt, scare, offend, upset, and tragically change others lives forever. My husband's brother was killed by a beating and the killer was never found...I'm sure it attributed to the early death of his parents at age 67...within one year of each other. I can't say I know how you're feeling, but I will send out more prayers and hope that the trial you have to endure will bring some closure and maybe some peace. I don't think I'll ever forget your son's story and how it's touching lives all over the blogging community.

Towanda said...

I don't understand how it could be Rosaria, but alas, so it is.
Your thinking here reminds me of chaos theory and the Butterfly effect, and how Brian's death is effecting so many people and so many things. We are all so related.

quilterliz said...

G'day Rosaria. Sadly we don't think before we act sometimes and the results of this can change the lives of so many people forever. I am so sorry for your loss and the grief that you and your family have to endure. It is good to know that Butters and Newkie are in safe and loving hands. They too have suffered loss and it must be very confusing for them. Take care. Liz...

Natalie said...

Writing is good.
One punch, answering one knock at the door, taking one step onto the road, it is all so fragile.
We all feel for you too, so i guess Brian has influenced us all here in Blogger land as well. Love and prayers to you♥

#1Nana said...

My heart aches for you when I read your pieces about Brian. The raw emotion comes through in your words. There was a piece on the evening news the other night about a funeral where the black lab walked down the aisle of the church and lay down by the coffin of his owner...a heartbreaking picture. I hadn't thought about animals losing their owners before I saw that and then I read your post today. A death leaves a big hole in the universe.

oceangirl said...

You write with such wisdom Rosaria. And I had thought of the house, Brian was the young man that had planned and worked at his dream.

That gentleman's lady said...

Disassembling the life that's gone, and reassembling your own without them..... it's a heartbreaking process, one that sometimes makes you want to rip your own heart out.

karen said...

Hi Rosaria, just here to send you some more best wishes from very far away. I think about you often, and Janet.. heartbreaking story, and just so senseless. I am so glad you are living in a caring community,and that Newkie has you to look after her, too...

becky said...

And now a trial to endure...I'm so sorry. However, I'm grateful that you're able to piece together words on your blog and hope that these posts help you toward re-shaping your life without Brian. So incredibly sad, this story.

SG said...

It is heart breaking to read about a young life dissembled by non thoughtful actions. You are right, one action will affect so many lives for so long. I have been reading your recent posts quietly, often not knowing exactly what to write in my comments. My prayers are with you and all those who cared for Brian.

Butternut Squash said...

Dear Rosaria,

I am so sad to hear of your loss.

You are so right, every death diminishes us all as we are all involved in the intricately woven fabric of one anothers lives.

Peace to you and your family.

joeh said...

Congratulations, you have been chosen to recieve the prestegious
"Versitile Blog Award"

See my post tomorrow for details@
joeh-thecrankyoldman.blogspot.com

It's not much, but you deserve an award - My heart and prayers go out to you.

The Cranky Old Man

erin said...

the tide is endless

and for this we live.

( )))

xo
erin

♥ Braja said...

Dear Rosaria....what can be said....I pray you have what you need to weather these changes....it's unnatural a parent has to live thru the death of their child....

NitWit1 said...

We we act rashly, even words kill, like a ripples from a rock launched into the great pond of life.

Linda Myers said...

I contributed a small amount to Brian's memorial garden, in memory of Brian and others who left us to soon.

Thinking of you.

the walking man said...

I was able to find a news account of the incident and I truly feel for you and you husband and the rest of your family. I doubt that one punch was intended to rob your son of his life and I believe from the moment the one who threw that punch sobered enough to realize he had taken a life he also saw how his life will never ever be the same.

where I am I have seen to much of this senseless violence, enough to become near immune to it. There is no solution for it because when anger or toughness blind a person they are blinded to the consequences of what may happen.

My hope is that at some point you will be able to forgive this young man, not forget or not let the law take its course but lift the burden of disgust from your own being.

It is a hard thing I am suggesting I know but a necessary one Rosaria that yoou may find some peace in your own being.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Just One Punch and so many people's life's were changed for ever. A great post written from the heart Rosaria.

Holly said...

I am so sorry to read of your loss ... life isn't fair ... I can't begin to imagine what you are going through.
My thoughts are with you and yours.
Holly

Lydia said...

Oh, Rosaria, I did not know about your son. You visited my blog yesterday which reminded me that it had been "awhile" since I was here. How could I have missed this passage in your lives? I have read all posts from most recent to the one below this one (about kitty) and will continue back until I find what you wrote after losing your son. I am heartbroken for you, for Janet, for the pets. What a tragedy. And what an amazingly huge heart you have to take it all in and share it with us. I will continue reading now. Please know you are strongly in my thoughts.