Tuesday, September 28, 2010

5 years....Sharp Knife of a Short Life....

Today is the day five years ago I lost my 18 year old brother in a car accident. He was alone, he hadn't been drinking or doing anything he shouldn't have been doing. He was on his way home from helping a friend write a paper. They think he might have fell asleep, less than 2 miles from his house on the WKU Farm. We were the family it could never happen to. We were the family who had it all together and comforted others in their time of loss. Not us. Never. Our lives are forever changed. Holidays are not as bright and cheery as they once were, and my mom and dad have lines on their faces that tell the story of their lost son. I have my days, days where I just want to cry and miss him. He was MY little brother who happened to be 6'2 and about 265 lbs and towered over me, but he was MY little brother who I did and still love with all my heart. It was such a tribute to that over 4,000 people showed up for our short visitation and graveside service. They came from hours away and some waited outside in line in the chilly fall September air for over 4 hours to pay their respects. These were the lives he touched. The hugs he gave, the elderly grandparents of friends who h stopped in to see on Sundays, the farm friends he had made through his terms as FFA President, his teammates and competitors as he served as captain of the football team. Cruise in 2005 my parents took him and his friends for senior spring break. Intersting to say the least :) LOVE these boys.

Guys all over our town have tattoos with his football number- 62, tributes to him with his name, dates, and angel wings. Cars over town have small window decals designed by Bubba's best friend with his name and dates and angel wings. A group of people in the town put an add in the paper every year on this date with his picture and a note about how they will never forget. The local FFA chapter auctions off 2 ferns at the annual banquet with the proceeds going to Bub's scholarship fund- this year the 2 ferns raised over $2000 and then they gave them to my mom. And we, the family, use the scholarship money donated when he passed to award 3 scholarships every year to local high school seniors in his memory. One for a a local football player, one for a local FFA member, and one for a local Church Youth Group member. We are continuing his legacy of giving.

My life is different.
Last night I was listening to the preview of Kenny Chesney's new album. How ironic. His song, "Who You'd Be Today" came out the same week Matt was killed.
His new album is released today. One of the songs is "Where I Grew Up." Part of the song goes:
The first time I saw Mama cry
Man, that sure was tough
Felt like I put on a few years
Watching Daddy wipe her tears
In my little coat and tie standing in that cemetery mud
That's where I grew up

I grew up right there.
His passing has made me a better person, but I try to look for the good in any tragedy. I have a closer relationship with my parents than I ever did, even though we were pretty close always. I take nothing for granted. I raise my son in a way my brother would be proud- teaching him to look for the good in everyone, help out whenever you can, and listen to the older, wiser people around us, they happen to know a thing or two about life, respect the Earth you live on, respect the animals around you, take care of the land, and to have a love for football & the Kentucky Wildcats :) He would love his nephew. I know he would have him doing and saying things just to get under my skin and love every minute of watching me climb the walls about it!
Today I just want to grieve. I want the day to go by and the date to pass and the calendar to change as when I look over I can remember every minute of every day in the days before and the days after. I have learned that if I want to cry, I should, and when I feel the need to smile, I do. I am with my family, my parents, my sister and we choose to spend the day together. We try not to cry, but just be together. No one has to say a thing. Matthew sure helps us smile and laugh and all the while we remember who he was named after, Matt.

In Loving Memory

Samuel Matthew Monroe
December 30, 1986- September 28th, 2005
We love you and miss you more than you would ever know Bub.


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

*sigh* ... this is an amazing tribute... just beautiful my friend... just beautiful... {{{hugs}}}

shari said...

Sammye, My thought and prayers are with you and your family, I hope the good Lord helps you to endure the pain of the loss of your brother. What a beautiful tribute to your dear brother. Hugs! Shari (cricutrookie)

Flamenco92627 said...

I had seen the picture on your left banner, didn't know the significance of your blog name, but wondered...

Your tribute to your brother is beautiful and touching. I am sorry for your tragic loss.

Lilacanglia said...

such a beautiful tribute,
he is there with you, and will be there for you always

Stacie said...

A wonderful remembrance of your brother....always hang on to those memories!

ttscraps said...

That was so touching and beautiful! I'm sure your brother is with you today and always! Thanks for sharing! Take care!

Kelli said...

What a wonderful loving post! Your brother is with you today and always and I'm sure he would be so proud of who you have become!


Kelly Irene said...

Sammye, Thanks for sharing this with us. My prayers are with you and your family as you celebrate the memories and grieve you loss.

Tanya R said...

Thank you for sharing, your brother certainly would be proud of the woman you are today. Hugs from Canada,

Meghann said...

Oh Sammye, I'm feeling for you. I remember when Melissa told me and how I thought that he was the same age as my brother. I couldn't imagine losing him, and can't imagine how much you still miss him today. You & your family are making him proud with all of the good work & love you're spreading around. *hugs to you*

~*Joni said...

Oh SJ, this post truly touched my heart as I know it touches everyone in your town. We will never know why we lose such valuable people in this world, why they are taken so suddenly, and how this happens to such close families. His legacy and love lives on in you, and he is even prouder of his big sis than you will ever know. Sending you so much love from one who has been through heartache too!!

Jodie R said...

Your tribute to your brother last year was one of the things that made me start following your blog. My heart goes out to you and your family. If there ever could be a silver lining in all of this, it is the fact that he touched so many lives and maybe even changed a few in his too short time here on Earth. Bless you all.

suzARTe said...

I haven't visited your blog for a while. This post is such a loving tribute to your brother, be strong, my prayers are with you and your family.

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