Monday, March 30, 2009

Sean's birthday

Dear Brian,

Today is your brother, Sean's, 42nd birthday. We celebrated yesterday at their house. We gave him a collage of photos of you and your other brother, Michael, and your Guinness tee-shirt and your Boulevard hat. I love seeing bits of you on and in other people. It helps me remember you alive instead of the last few days of your life as you were dying that are currently embedded in my mind.

I was thinking that today I would share a memory of you and Sean. I wasn't around in your life for this memory, but I know it was one of your favorites with Sean. You had so many, but I know this is one of your "golden oldies." You replayed this one many times.

You were driving home from college your freshman year. Your parents had moved away from Pekin to Decatur, but you still had your high school girlfriend, who was a year younger than you in Pekin. Sean and Cheryl lived in Pekin, too, so you were planning on staying with them. On your way home, you had some car trouble outside of Springfield. You had to take your car to a shop run by a couple of local rednecks as it completely stalled out. You called Sean and Cheryl to come aide you. The local tow and mechanic shopped had a couple good old boys working there - one named Delbert. (Sean, I think the name is wrong, so correct me.) Delbert was an interesting looking fellow in his stained mechanic jumpsuit with embroidered nametag, greased up hat with mussed hair showing slightly underneath and a few missing teeth. Delbert was working some good old-fashioned diagnostics on your engine by grabbing a couple of wires simultaneously to see if they were "hot." They were. He jerked, buzzed and sizzled a couple times stating that wasn't the problem. As you and Sean and Cheryl looked on in amused amazement, the other mechanic stated, "Yup, that shocks the shit out of me, but don't seem to mind him none."

Your car was eventually fixed and you had your weekend fun. And we still enjoy reliving the memory.

Happy Birthday, Sean, on behalf of Brian, myself, Gavin and Grant.

I miss you, Brian. I love you.



  1. What a funny story! I love that you are sharing it and I'm sure that Sean will get a laugh from it (as I know our family loves to retell golden oldies and we still laugh every time).

    Wishing you peace.

  2. I hadn't heard this O'Neill story, but I can IMAGINE the "boys" having fun experiencing it and then retelling it. (As Sean can attest, it takes a redneck to know one!)

    I needed a laugh today and I just love laughing with(at) your(our) family!

  3. Happy Birthday Sean !!!

    Angie, thanks for sharing the golden oldie,out of the many memories. Sending you and the boys some hugs. Love Marjo

  4. It is amazing how it helps to parcel out things to those that will appreciate them--and as you pointed out to remember the good times.

  5. Dawn (Sharp) ScheidererMarch 31, 2009

    Angie, You are absolutely amazing at keeping Brian's memory alive in all of us with the stories and the very special gifts. What a special gift for a brother to receive. I think about you and your family often. Hope you are doing well.

    Dawn (Sharp) Scheiderer

  6. I love that you are still writing. I hope it helps.

  7. I love reliving happy memories, even when I wasn't there to enjoy them. I relive the few that I had with Angel. They bring me great comfort.

  8. Maybe Delbert knows something the rest of us don't - hahaha.

  9. Angie~
    I did not find your blog until your husband passed away and I have been going back through and reading prior posts. I just wanted to let you know that your blog is a blessing to me and I know it will be to your boys as well. Praying for God's healing strength to lift you up today and for an extra dose of peace, gracy, mercy and patience tomorrow.

  10. Just thinking of you and praying for you tonight. Praying for peace and comfort.


  11. That story is a classic!

    Happy Birthday to Sean...