May 27th: We remember our little boy.

Thunder roars, it down pours, and flashes of lightning eliminate the whole sky. It’s a depressing day. May 27th, 2012. It’s 11 years on the dot that Edwin Joseph Ness died. Every year it comes, the feeling of sadness washes over my entire body. I don’t like to talk about it, discuss it or think about it, but I need to in order to deal with the fact that he will never reappear in the same form. He is with me in spirit as well as through material objects, but it’s not the same.

On this particular day, we celebrate a birthday as well, my younger brother’s 19 today. This overwhelms us all since we lost someone so dear and close to our hearts, meanwhile we’re in mourning.

My younger brother works 1130-5 on this day and the rest of our family will head to the cemetery around 2:00. I am most nervous because I don’t want to cry in front of anybody, I don’t allow the tears to roll down my face in front of anybody except myself.

As the time ticks closer to 2:00, I become very apprehensive. My two cousins come with us to meet my other family. While driving to the cemetery, I become quiet. I don’t want to talk. I don’t feel like talking. How could I? You can hear the chatter in our car as we are about 10 minutes away. But, I’m in the back sitting in silence.

We pull up to where he’s buried. I haven’t been there since his funeral and don’t remember how it looks. We walk up to my uncle, his daughter, her husband and 2 kids, my aunt, cousin and his friend. They are all standing there waiting for us. Also, we stand and wait for our other cousin and daughter to make their way over from McDonald’s.

I stand there in silence with my sunglasses on. After they finally come around 2:30, my uncle says some words. He will play three songs that remind him of our Eddie. We each will get a balloon and will release it on the last song, one of my personal favorites, “Dancing Queen.”

My uncle gets choked up every time he talks about Eddie, which is understandable since that was his son. My cousin, his brother stands next to him while we hear the first song. I could see him holding back tears and just want to hug him because I feel so bad.

The next song really gets me. I see everyone around me wiping away tears. I think to myself that I’m glad I wore sunglasses. Again, I don’t allow myself to completely break down due to two reasons, I have mascara on and I don’t want to show that type of emotion in front of anyone.

I was never good at comforting people & I’m horrible when it comes to death. I’m not good at dealing with it or facing it. I just can’t. I look up to stop the tears that form in my eyes.

The last song skips, but it’s still a nice moment. We all let go of our balloons and this is really where I tear up underneath my sunglasses.  I don’t know how anyone could talk in that moment. I sure as hell couldn’t. I hide behind my other cousin and didn’t want to be bothered.

I knew how I would feel after the end of the ceremony, depressed. Utterly and completely sad. Our family had to go because we needed to get home and get ready for my brother’s birthday. I really wish he came too.

As we say our goodbyes, I know that I will hug my cousin tight to make sure he is okay. He doesn’t want to show that emotion in front of anyone as well. I’ve taught myself not to do it in front of others, just like him.

I hug him really tight and hold on for a while. I knew he would need someone to hold on to. I wanted to be the one. I knew he needed everyone there. I was sad to leave, but now we must celebrate a birthday.

On the car ride home, I wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want to be bothered. I just wanted to sit in silence and think. The thoughts ran through my mind about today, 11 years ago today my dad, mom, two brothers and I sat underneath our carport when we got the call that Eddie was in the hospital. We didn’t think anything of it.

Even though I was only 11 years old, I remember that day very well. It’s hard to believe that was 11 years ago TODAY.

This marks the 11-year anniversary of Edwin Joseph Ness’s death and it still looms over all of us. I will never forget him. I will never forget you, Eddie.

I sit here and try to remember all of the memories we had, but some of them become blurry. It was so long ago. But, I will NEVER forget him. Though I didn’t see him as often as my other cousins, he was one of my favorites. I loved that little boy and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what he would look like, how he would talk, what interests he would have, and what he would be doing.

I miss you so much Eddie & I love you.

We remember our little boy :]

A life & a death.

I watch the clock tick minute by minute, closer and closer to May 27th, the day. Two things occurred on this day, a death and a birth. It’s the day my younger brother was born and my cousin died. This day looms over all of us every time it comes around, every time it rears its ugly head we think about what happened 11 years ago and 19 years. My younger brother is 19 today, while my cousin would have been 17.

The thunder becomes louder and louder and the flashes become brighter. I feel nervous. The feeling in my stomach won’t go away. It’s a sick type of feeling. Though we are celebrating my brother’s birthday, we mustn’t forget that someone so close and dear to us left this earth on this day.

My dad says, Hey buddy. How does it feel to be 19?  He remarks, I’m not 19 yet.  How could you help not feeling sad and utterly devastated on this day? Meanwhile, you’re celebrating a birthday? Every year this day comes, we are reminded of that lonely Sunday, May 27th 2001 when our Edwin Ness’s body shut down for good. It’s horrible, sickening, terrible, heart-wrenching, unbearable, and most of all, depressing.

I loved him very much & will always think about him.

RIP, Edwin Joseph Ness, We miss you dearly.

Recall Learning Disability: In a way, I guess I’m proud.

I read it, I read it again & a third time. I don’t understand it. It’s boring, plus my recall learning disability interferes with what I’m reading. It seems to fully comprehend the material, I have to read it over at least five or six times, which becomes quite annoying as I have so many other subjects to tend to. It’s the life of an english major, reading, writing a paper on the topic & digging deep into the real meaning being conveyed.

I never gave up on school despite this interference with my studies. I pushed my way through and didn’t let it stop me from pursuing my dream, to become a magazine writer.

I was diagnosed with this learning disability in kindergarten when my teacher noticed I wasn’t grasping concepts as fast as the rest of the class. I went through many tests. In middle school, I ended up in a class which helped me organize my homework so I wasn’t too overwhelmed. The worst part about it was, while most of my peers learned Spanish in 7th & French in 8th, I couldn’t since I had the helper’s class. I was a bit disappointed.

You could never tell that I have this disability because I come off as normal as possible, but I was always so embarrassed when someone explained something to me and I had to ask for a complete explanation in order to follow the words that came out of their mouth. Now, this didn’t happen in every single situation, only when the idea was hard to understand.

In work, I had to really pay attention to my manager’s directions, as I didn’t want to screw anything up. I had to stand there and attentively listen to every word. In most cases, I was okay, but there was the select few times  when I would need more. Sometimes if they gave me too many assignments at the same time, I couldn’t remember them all and would have to ask later what the third one was. It wasn’t a big deal and they had no problem.

I never told anyone unless it came up. I didn’t even really tell my friends. What was the point? I was embarrassed, as I said.

When I got to college, I needed more assistance. They allowed me more time with tests, quizzes, assignments and in class essays. I always needed something extra. Still, I don’t tell anyone that I have the disability because I don’t want them to look at me differently, judge me, or think I’m stupid.

My mom tells me I should be proud of myself and how fair I’ve come. In a way, I am, but I’m not. I mean, yes I’ve made many accomplishments and never let anything stop me, but there are so many more people in the world that have broke barriers and survived. Me? I continued on with life despite my learning disability.

I mean, in a way, I guess I’m proud.

❤ Hope Kumor

How will I ever get through the pain of death?

I sit in silence staring at the computer screen as I write this, trying to find the words to describe how I’m feeling.

I’m solemn, depressed, sad, sickened, heartbroken & exhausted. The thought of death looms throughout my body. I try not to think about it, just merely the positive, but after you’ve watched Vh1’s Last Days of Left Eye and saw part of the car accident that caused her death, how could you not?

How can I enjoy life knowing that I could die at any given moment? My head spins & I develop a headache. I’m SO afraid of death & the fact that someone so close to me could be gone.

Why would I want to get close to someone when I know that the ache and pain will be there when they die? How could I not be scared? I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m in an unsettling state of mind & I can’t escape any of it. It’s a fact: I’m going to die. One day. My family members will pass & I have NO idea how I will handle that.

Am I strong enough for that? Am I brave enough to endure such agony? How can I live like that? Memories float inside my brain & I would never be able to handle them after a family member leaves this planet. And, to lose one of my family members, I would die inside.

Literally, I’m going to vomit. I can’t fathom this concept, I don’t want to, I’m not allowed to. I’m unable to process this, let alone imagine my life any different from it is now.

How will I ever get through the pain of death?

He’s changed & I hate it.

It’s double date night & we are going with one of my best friends and her boyfriend. We have the night arranged. We will go bowling and enjoy ourselves. The night is set.

We drive over to pick them up & the laughs and giggles come from the 4 of us immediately because my then boyfriend cracks jokes that are so funny that they hurt your stomach. We all get along so well. It took about 10 minutes to get there from my friend’s house. We all get shoes and are assigned to lane 1. At first we stand around and watch each other bowl. We don’t feel comfortable enough to sit down. But, eventually, as the turns continue, we take our seats.

Her boyfriend is into recording events on camera and I was glad because I could look back on the day and smile. In terms of turn-taking, it was her bf, my bf, me and her, in that order. My bf & I would rag on one another in between our turns. Everyone would laugh. He would smile & be happy.

I remember those days. Even though he is no longer my boyfriend, I crave them so bad. When I talk to him on the phone, he never has anything to tell me. I continue to roll my eyes as he says, Nothing much.  Don’t you ever have ANYTHING to tell me? What happened to the old days when we would go out & have a nice time. Maybe this summer we can get back to where we once were, not romantically, but fun-wise.

The job market has ruined him. Though, he was never really  happy, but he was happier than he is now. He’s changed and it makes me so sad. His job search is unsuccessful & that has altered his whole personality. I mean, there are periods when he’s his old self, but not too often. I miss him & gosh do I.

He always has to go, leave early, can’t do something. There’s ALWAYS something. It’s ALWAYS been the same way, even when we dated. It sucked even more then and now it’s becoming worse. Why? Why do you always have to leave me? Why can’t you ever stay? I mean, I’m not needy, but he can be too much sometimes.

Everything went so awfully wrong when he graduated. I thought it would make everything better, but it’s only made it worse. Will it ever get better? Will he ever be happy? Will he ever be like before?

He’s changed & I hate it.

Let’s just hope this lasts.

The house is quiet & empty. Everyone is gone. Two are in Atlantic City and one is at work. I am alone, but it’s Sunday & I haven’t seen him in a month. He pulls up around 6:24. The time he was supposed to arrive was 6:15, but he was finishing up my stuff, he explained.

We make our way into my room to converse about our days. The strange thing which occurs is he’s silent on the phone, without much dialogue, but in person, he talks up a storm. What’s the difference between the two? He begins to talk about politics with lighten eyes. Whenever he speaks about these kinds of subjects, you can see the passion in his eyes. There is no denying that he loves to debate. He tells me about the insurance job that he’s pursuing. Though, he has no drive or desire toward it, he informs me that this could lead into what he wants to do. The smile forms on my face because that’s all I want for him, happiness.

Time ticks and we must leave the house to do some errands. He must be home around 8:30 because he has to fill out another application. We aren’t in the store too long. As we walk in the store, the laughs & giggles come from both of us. He’s so great to hang out with, as a friend of course. After the shopping is done and we stand in line to pay, his phone rings. It’s his one friend from work. He doesn’t pick up because he feels funny talking to him in the store. We talk, and laugh some more as we exit the store.

In the car, he checks to see if he has a voicemail. Nope. It’s clear. But, he gets a text that says, Who is your girlfriend? I think it’s something between them, maybe like a joke, a gag. No. It’s me. I’m his “so-called girlfriend” that his friend inquires about. I feel a little awkward because 1) I’m not 2) I felt funny him thinking I was. Immediately I say, he knows we’re not dating, right? He shoots back, that’s not the point. I shrug it off, but still feel a little weird about what he’s just asked. He was in the same store, but I guess he felt strange coming over and saying hi. I wouldn’t have cared. I would have liked to meet his work buddy. He says, damn, I should have picked up. I hate doing that. I looked so rude.

We make our way to the second store & the subject is dropped. We move onto another topic, something unrelated to the previous one. We enter into the other store as he tells me a story. He always tells stories when we’re together & I love it. I love it when he talks, shares his thoughts with me, it’s great. He tells me that his father was interested in  the four of us, his dad, his girlfriend, him & I going to a comedy club. Usually, he would never reveal this type of information, but he is more talkative in person.

It is around 8:25 as we make our way out of the store. He carries his bags full of eggs, rice cakes, chicken & allergy medicine. It is getting late & he must get home. I drive and we exchange more stories & he smiles. Even though he doesn’t say much at times, that smile is his golden ticket. Any girl would be lucky to have him & his smile. We drop off his groceries at his house & drive straight back to my house.

On the ride to my house, he says that “asian girls are hot.” Now. Question. Am I jealous? To be honest, not really. I didn’t feel hurt, mad, annoyed or anything. I was shocked. This was the first time my eyes didn’t fill with tears & I was proud of myself.

I park in my driveway, we get out & he says Well, I have to get going. Do you want to walk me to my car? His car is about 10 feet away. I didn’t want him to leave. I always enjoy his company & he’s awesome. Plus, I know that he didn’t want to be on his way. That would mean the week would start over again.

When we approach his red, clean-cut vehicle, he hesitates a bit. He gives me a nice hug, gets in his car & sits there for a minute. As he drives away, I don’t look back. I enter my empty house & sit on my kitchen counter and ask myself Are you okay? Am I okay? I think I am. And, for the first time, I think I might be. Who knows how long it will last, but I am happy. Let’s just hope this lasts.

XOXO