Saturday, May 9, 2015

365 Project - Day 129 - "Closing Up Shop"



May 09, 2015 - "Closing Up Shop"

I spent the bulk of today at my brother's picture framing shop, trying to figure out his costs for a lot of the items he had there... and trying to straighten up and organize the place to make it a bit easier to decide what gets kept... what gets sold and what gets moved out to be dealt with at a later time.

It's tough being there. It's very tough... very emotional. That is where he was... alone... when it happened. You walk in there and it sort of just hits you. The quiet. The stillness. The darkness - until you're able to make it to the back room to turn on the lights. The emotions of it all. It just hits you like a ton of bricks and knocks the wind out of you for a moment.

Knowing that I would be there for at least four hours or more, I brought some portable speakers and my iPod so I could listen to some music while getting stuff done... and so it wouldn't be so eerily quite there. I decided to put on an album that Peter and I used to listen to at least a few times a week while we worked together: "Funky Good Time: The Anthology" by James Brown and The J.B.'s. The sound instantly filled the space... and then there was this intense presence there - leaving my wife and I both in a state of "Whoa!".

I started to walk toward the back... I got as far as the computer desk, where there's a window-like opening that opens up to the back room - the work room. I looked back there and somehow I just "knew" that he was there... and I lost it. I completely broke down and cried, while James Brown's voice,  Maceo Parker's sax and Fred Wesley's trombone surrounded me.

I had my moment... went through quite a few tissues... and went to work.

We closed things up for the day - and headed over to Colony Grill for a very-much-needed pint (or three) of Guinness and some pizza. My sister-in-law Angel and Peter's three daughters met us there - as did my mother, my aunt and my cousin. It felt so incredibly good to be in a place that has meant so much to our family for decades (my first ever taste of pizza was from Colony - almost 40 years ago!).

We took a bit of a break during dinner to run next door to the nursing home to visit my dad for a few minutes... which was a very pleasant surprise for him and was a nice visit. Then went back to Colony for more Guinness.

After that we sort of kidnapped my two older nieces to go to the mall to do a bit of Mother's Day shopping... and to try to embarrass them a little in public, because that's what uncles are for.

It was a tough day... and yet it was a wonderful day at the same time. I can't really explain that... it's just the way it was... and I know that the next few weekends will be even tougher - and hopefully have some wonderful moments to them as well.

(I love you Bro!)

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