Thursday, September 3, 2009

Permit me one more post about my family.


While looking for quotes the other day i came across this little story that Troy had written in 1995 for our sister Kelly's funeral. Kelly committed suicide at the age of 35 after many attempts, starting as early as the age of 8. I hadn't read this piece in years. I was thinking about asking Troy if he still has this because of what is going on now.

As i had written here a few days ago, Troy's son committed suicide at the age of 24 on August 20. Unlike our sister, Joshua was not addicted to alcohol or drugs and there were no outward signs, nor were there any earlier attempts.

I don't normally put this kind of family stuff out often, but for some reason i feel a need to not move on quite yet with the blog, pretending that everything is normal. Nothing is normal.

I know with time the rest of us in the family will move beyond what feels so terrible now, but for Troy and Josh's older brother Brian, nothing will ever be normal again for them. In being around them these past two weeks i have found they are both much stronger than i had thought earlier and I take comfort in that.

Anyway, i love this piece that Troy wrote and wanted to share with you all what a special brother I have. He is kind man of simple tastes, an endearing lack of sophistication, and a deep heart and soul. His son Joshua was very much like him.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I was young, there was a tree growing near our house in a field across the way. This tree was not ordinary. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary was the life in this tree. The tree was not in good shape, it was split in two. Dry frail branches and wood revealed by the split was brittle and weathered. It was not a big tree, for it never fully matured.

As fragile as the tree was, one branch strived to produce, sucking all the nutrients it could from the earth. The end of this branch revealed its identity - a perfect peach dangled from the branch like an ornament on a Christmas tree.

How could a half dead tree still bear fruit? I stood in awe of that peach. I never wanted to pick the peach for fear it would not produce the next year. I admired its beauty and strength.
Year after year, the rest of the tree was aging and splitting even more. The brush of berry bushes, grass, vine and ivy overwhelmed it. Engulfed by its surroundings made it harder to spot where the peach was, but when your eye would catch it hanging on its last branch . . . . it was still the most perfect peach. I reached to it and touched the fuzz and knew it was firm. This peach was not to be picked by me ... or anyone else.

Years past without me visiting the tree, but I always knew it was producing one perfect peach. The end was inevitable given the tree’s dying trunk.

My last visit to the tree was not surprising, for the earth had finally taken the tree. . .

But God had picked the peach.

10 comments:

amulbunny said...

That is lovely Jo. I will pray that your family can heal from this unexpected loss.

~grits~ said...

oh jo, that is beautiful. You and Troy both have writing talent. Thank you for sharing this with us. And this is your blog. Write as much or as often (or as little or not) as you need and want to. I cant imagine the pain and grief your family is going through. I'm here to listen if you need someone.

IslandPearl said...

Very touching - I can't imagine what you are going through. And difficult as it is, although you , and they, may never fully get over it, you will get through it.

Like grits said - this is your blog. For you, not us. Write what and when you can. And we'll love you through it all.

susieatl said...

JoJo..that was beautiful. And don't ever hinder what you need to say because of us. We love you and want to be here for you. I won't pretend I know the depth of loss you are feeling right now or that I have the words to help heal...but know that I am here..we all are. If writing helps...please write.

equeyaya said...

I read this when you first posted it but haven't been able to comment from my phone for some reason. But everything I wanted to say has been said very well by annie, grits, pearl and susie. Keep writing, it's good therapy. Troy's peach story is spot on. Hugs to you, jo.

cowboy said...

hey jojo... cowboy here... just checking in and what an amazing brother you have... to have written that at the right time... quite special and truly eye opening. You too are one strong... well nut, I'd say... a finely polished nut. I work with them. They are gorgeous so I know what I'm talking about. hope to talk to you soon... and now to find the books I need to buy for my trip....
keep it rolling, sista....xoxo

Jennifer said...

Jo Jo! I had no idea. I haven't read too many blogs lately. I can only echo what others have said.. you write for YOU. We'll love you through it all.

Troy's writing is beautiful.

Lynnie said...

Jo, I'm sorry that I didn't know about this sooner; like Jenn said, I haven't been keeping up with blogs lately, but I didn't realize that I have been absent for such a long time. I spent this evening catching up with your blog since early in the Summer, all comments included. Big (((HUGS))) to you and your family. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your nephew. Troy's writing ~~ like yours ~~ is so heartfelt.

On August 26th a close friend of mine lost her daughter. She had surgery, and a blood clot went to her lungs. She was 33 and was a rising star in the opera world. I've known her since she was a child of 6 and watched her grow up.

It's so very tragic when we lose the young ones in our circle of family and friends . . .

jojo cucina cucina said...

Thank you all. -jo

Cat said...

Jojo, I am so sorry I did not see this earlier....I'm sorry for the loss of your nephew. Your brother definitely shares your writing talent. What a beautiful metaphor...I remember you writing about your sister and how that affected you growing up. I'm sorry for not keeping up and being here for you...(((((Jo))))))