Thursday, April 9, 2015

365 Project - Day 99 - "Memories"

April 09, 2015 - "Memories"

I'm pouring through memories and mementos of my brother Peter. Here's a handful of them gathered in one place.

The drawing was one that Peter did of my high school's mascot "Casey the Cougar" - from University High School in Orlando, Florida. Peter drew that in my sketchbook without any sort of a visual reference... and it only took him a couple of minutes to do it.

The concert tickets are from two of the Maceo Parker concerts we went to together. For those who do not know of Maceo Parker, he was the saxophone player for James Brown and for "The J.B.s". He was one of Peter's favorites... and remains one of mine.

The top ticket is from December 28, 1996 at the Globe Theater in Norwalk. It was my Christmas gift to Peter that year... and it was just the two of us. It was my first time seeing Maceo in concert. The bottom ticket is from October 31, 1997 at the Palace Theater in Stamford. That night was special because it was the one year anniversary of Holly and I being together. A whole group of us went to the show together and we were right up against the stage the whole time. After the show we gathered at the Bulls Head Diner for some food and some much-needed coffee.

Both concerts were abso-freakin'-lutely amazing!

The Palm Cross is one that Peter made for me during Holy Week in 2013. He gave it to me when I made my Confirmation during the Easter Vigil. He was my sponsor, and stood by my side as I took the name "Joseph" in honor of St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and the Patron of Fathers.

And lastly there is the ring. This ring is sacred to me. It is a silver Puzzle Ring by the jeweler José Grant who used to be in business in Stamford. As far as I know, it was the first Puzzle Ring Peter ever bought for himself... and, on his wedding day, he gave it to me. He also had a gold one which he gave to our brother Kenny that same day - as Kenny was to stand as his Best Man. Puzzle Rings are a very important "thing" in the Pia family, and have been for many, many years. Just about everyone in the family has at least one. Peter's wedding band is a gold Puzzle Ring with sapphires and diamonds across the top band. My wedding band is a white gold Puzzle Ring. My wife Holly's wedding band is a silver and gold Puzzle Ring.

I used to wear the ring from Peter all of the time until I got married in June of 1999. Then I put it aside, but always kept it safe. The day of Peter's Wake I went crazy looking for the ring... digging through every drawer I could get to and every place I could think of that it might be. I couldn't find it. Then, the morning of the Funeral Mass something told me to look in the wooden box on my dresser... and there it was... right on top... staring back at me. I wore it throughout the day... though I've gained weight over the years (basically, my fingers have gotten fatter) so it was very tight and I had to remove it that night. I plan to have it sealed (Puzzle Rings fall apart when they're loose) so that I can wear it on a necklace.

These are just a small portion of the many, many things we have to remind us of Peter. I will cherish each and every one of them... always!

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