29. Brous

2014 was a rough, tough year for me. I lost both of my Grandfathers, one in January and one in July, and it rocked my world. Without torturing you with the details of my estranged father, these two men were my foundation, the men I measured all men against, my favorite guys. Losing both of them brought heartache like I’d never experienced, growth that only comes from soul shattering devastation, and a new found appreciation for life.

When my Grandpa Rusty died in July 2014, it was a completely different experience than that of Papa’s passing earlier that year. Rusty’s was sudden, unexpected, unnecessary. One day here, joking with friends, the next gone leaving a gaping hole in our family. My mom’s side of the family donates their bodies to science, something that would later give me the courage to pursue clinical trials for ALS. A wonderful, funny memorial service that Rusty would have loved. Later in August we had a memorial at the country club where he and my Grandma Houston were charter members, familiar faces, and regular golfers. At this service the members donated a bench in Rusty’s name, dedicated the hole that he’d hit 4 of his 7 hole in ones on to him, a physical reminder of the mountain of a man who enjoyed nothing more than a place to sit down.

At this service at the club I got a copy of an old newsletter from June 1991 when my grandparents were both named “Member of the Month”. It’s a great piece that I framed and have in my office.

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Naturally, now that I have this great piece from my Brett side I want something cool to include in my office that honors my Brous side. My Papa was a gracious, supportive, highly involved man and I attribute many of my social skills to him. When he passed it was expected, fell on Friday and passed on Wednesday from multi-organ failure. It was his time, his health not the greatest, but still Earth shattering for me. His passing opened wounds from my father that my 3 sisters and I had buried and ignored for many years. It was hard on everyone.

Sunday 1.22.17 was 3 years since he’d passed so I was anxious to get moving on this project, find that piece that I’ve been searching for. He was a hoarder in the documentation department, and Grandma Nancy and I had the chance to dig through his personal files and look for whatever it is that I need to complete this project. I didn’t find what I think I’m looking for, but I’m not giving up that easy. I look forward to sharing a unique piece of my Brous roots with you, once I get it together.

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