The Black Hole of Death

Today is Aaron’s birthday.  It should be spent having fun, singing, and laughing.  However, Aaron died three years ago.  There will be no signing or laughing today.

When Aaron died, I lost my brother, Gwen lost her father, and Mom lost her son.  His death created a black hole in our family.  This black hole creates a suction that drags feelings of joy and happiness into it’s abyss.  It only leaves feelings of despair and grief.

Our family will never be the same without Aaron.  His death will impact all of us for the rest of our lives.  I just wish we could somehow banish the black hole from our mist.  That we could learn to laugh and sing again.

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Hiking Down Memory Lane

As teenagers, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods.  We went hiking, fishing, and swimming in the creek.

We also built a makeshift fort and took some of my mom’s old lawn furniture down there.  Mom never did figure out what happened to her chairs.

We spray-painted graffiti under the bridge.  We wrote our names, the names of our dogs, and noted each year we were there.

Basically, the two of us ran wild through those woods and we were having a blast.

That was 26 years ago.  Aaron passed away three years ago and his birthday is on Monday.  I decided to take his daughter (Gwen) out there.  She heard various stories over the years, but never got a chance to see the area.  It seemed like a good way to honor Aaron’s memory.

I was surprised to see a lot of our graffiti is still there.  Each step I took, felt like I was going back in time.  Even though the terrain has changed some over the years, I could still recognize different sections and areas.  I still remembered my way around those woods.

Memories of those days flooded my mind.  It was a surreal feeling.  I could almost see us and our dogs running wild.  I was excited to see it all again.  However, I felt the grief of my brother’s death.

I was hiking down memory lane and my heart was overflowing with mixed emotions.

 

Old Family Photos and Family Legacy

A few days ago, I posted a couple of photos of Mom and Aunt Kathy.  While I was looking for those pictures, I came across a few photos of my grandparents (Frank and Edith Lynn) and my great-grandparents (Otis and Ollie Lynn).

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I look at these photos and wonder about their lives.  They were just doing normal things, going to school, getting married, raising their children, and working at various jobs.

However, time moves quickly.  Their children grew up, moved away, and had their own children.  Those children also grew up, moved away, and had their own children.  And so it continued….

My great-grandparents and grandparents are no longer living.  However, their legacy is still here.  It continues through stories, pictures, even some character traits that seem to be genetic in nature.

Even when there is nobody left that remembers them, their legacy will continue to live on in our family.

Day Spent Honoring Aaron Thaler

We spent the day honoring my brother.  We told stories and laughed, but we also cried.

Mom and I went to the Huntsville Botanical Garden to see the tree that I sponsored in memory of Aaron.  I presented the sponsorship information to Mom last Christmas, because I  wanted her to know Aaron will never be forgotten and his life made a difference in this world.

Then Mom, Gwen, and I went to the cemetery to put fresh flowers on the grave.  It was hard standing there looking at his headstone.  We all miss Aaron so much and there will always be an empty place in our lives.

Feeling Nostalgic and Sad

When I was a teenager, Madison Square Mall was the best place to hang out with friends.  It was the largest mall in the Huntsville area.  It also had all sorts of cool stores and restaurants.

One of my favorite memories, involves me and my cousins hanging out on the second floor next to the railing that overlooked a water fountain on the first floor.  We were talking with a friend and just being goofy.

The friend was wearing a clip-on tie, because he had an interview with one of the stores.  My cousin Kay didn’t know it was a clip-on, so when she grabbed his tie it popped off and went flying over the railing.  The tie landed in the water fountain below us.

The young man was really upset, because he had borrowed his father’s tie clip and he didn’t want to lose it.

My cousin Dee and I came up with a plan to fix the problem.  We went down stairs, took off our shoes, and climbed into the water fountain to get the tie.

A security guard approached us and demanded to know what we were doing in the fountain.  I tried to explain the situation, but that just made him even angrier at us.

Dee and I were escorted out of the mall and warned not to return.

Over the years, new malls and shopping centers have come to Huntsville, Alabama.  Unfortunately, Madison Square never changed or made any significant improvements.  They still have a lot of the 80’s colors and decretive styles through out the building.

People drifted to the more modern malls that are better able to meet their needs and Madison Square Mall continued to deteriorate.

Madison Squire Mall recently closed and all the stores have now relocated.  The local news (WHNT.com)  was showing pictures of the empty mall and talking about future plans for the building and the land.  Looking at the pictures made me feel nostalgic and a bit sad.