Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Memories of Jon

Art Card

I slept in late this morning.  It's the first time I have done that since I started feeding the Ferals.  It rained last night and they were very hungry besides being wet.   But the flagstones were dry enough that I could leave the food on them without watering it down.

As I finished, I stood up and looked out at the cats, greedily falling to, eating as fast as they could, just in case it might disappear if they waited.  As I watched, I thought how much my brother Jon would have enjoyed seeing them.

That was when I remembered just why I had slept in late this morning.  I didn't want to end a lovely dream I was having.  I dreamed about my brother, Jon

I have two brothers, both of which I adore.  They are both so much older than I that I have no memory of living in the same house with them.  They were gone, leading their lives by the time I was making memories.  It was as if I was an only child, but I had two extra uncles.

When I was in my early 30s, my life had gone bad and I needed to start over.    I needed to move, but where to move to?  It occurred to me at that point that I had very little family left and I would like to get to know my brothers better.  So I moved to NYC, where my brother Jon lived, in hopes of getting to know him.

And Jon was a delight.  He was warm and caring, without trying to rescue me.   And I like to think I was good for him.  I gave him his first cat, whom he adored.  And he got his second & third cat from me too.  Jon was endlessly amused by watching the cats interact with one another.  He  made up games for them and bought them cat toys and cat trees for them to climb on.  

We spent a lot of time together.  As it turned out, we both shared a love of movies.  Our favorites were old black and white movies from the 30s & 40s & 50s.     Oh, and Mysteries.  We both dearly loved mysteries.

One beautiful day I noticed that a new movie had just come out, called "Evil Under the Sun".  It was an Agatha Christie mystery with Peter Ustinov.  I knew Jon would love it.  So later the next day, we went to the theater where it was playing.  

The line for the movie was around the block three times and most folks seemed to be in a good mood.  We joined them and spent a pleasant time talking with other folks in the line, joking about movies we had seen.  

It was a big theater, with escalators leading up and down to the various screens.  We got a good seat and really enjoyed the movie.  On the way out of the theater while we were still on the escalator, right next to the other escalators that were carrying the next batch of folk up to see the movie, Jon turned to me and said in a Loud voice, "Well, it was a good movie, but I knew right from the beginning that the Butler did it."  Everyone on the surrounding escalators Glared at him, furious that he had given away the ending!  What they did not know was:  There was NO butler in the movie.

Jon was working on the 82nd floor of the World Trade Center on 2001.  But that day, in Sept., he had decided to work at home, so he missed the whole terror.  

I was living elsewhere by then, but I was frantic to know if he was OK.  I finally got a hold of him around 2 o'clock in the morning (The phone lines had been too busy to get through before that).  Jon had no TV and had not turned on the radio.  Instead he had been listening his CD player as he worked on the computer and was lost to what was going on around him.   That was not uncommon for him, he liked to isolate himself as he worked.   

But when I told him what had happened, he didn't believe me.  He must have been the only person in NYC who didn't know the World Trade Centers had fallen.  He told me "Oh, honestly! You must be exaggerating!".

Those were his last words to me.  He died shortly thereafter of a heart attack.  It was quick, the way he would have wanted.

But this morning, I dreamed of Jon.   I dreamed we were having a picnic in Central Park, sharing jokes and memories.   It was a lovely dream, full of laughter and sunshine.  There was no heavy message, just love.

I don't know if it was a True Dream, whether or not my brother really did come back to visit me.  But it doesn't matter.  What matters is that I was reminded that I had this wonderful, caring, funny human being as a brother -- and I was lucky enough to have known him.

He would have loved seeing the Ferals eat this morning.  He would have made some remark about how loudly they crunched the food.  And we would have laughed together.

So I laughed for him.

1 comment:

  1. I think whether you picnicked with Jon or your memory of him, you still spent precious time with him. Thank you for sharing your happy memories.