Friday, November 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Brothers: A Death in His Family

 

Three days ago I received this brief email from my brother Steve:

“I just saw that John Roberts that I graduated with died Friday.  He was Danny's brother and I was wondering if you had heard how he died or anything about it.”

No, I hadn’t.  I located the obituary online, and couldn’t believe what I saw.  John Ira Roberts, 44, of Point Marion had died unexpectedly on Friday at 3:05am.  The funeral had taken place on Sunday.  

I went to the funeral home’s website & signed the guestbook, and sent my old friend Dan a condolence note.  I may or may not hear back from him, as it’s been a long while but I hope I do.   I still don’t know what happened, but I am guessing “unexpected” means something sudden, like a stroke or heart attack.   While I knew John was once a truck driver for many years, I did not know he was married and had children.

Just to clarify, John was the younger brother of my oldest friend Dan Roberts.  Dan & I met in the fourth grade and were best friends for 25 years.  As kids, he spent as much time at my house as I did his, and we ‘parted company’ sometime in the mid 90s, after Dan married and had a couple more kids, and I moved to Pittsburgh.  (I’ve only seen Dan twice in fifteen years, sad to say.) 

 

John Ira Roberts, Nov 14 1966 – Nov 19 2010

 

When I showed the obituary and funeral write-up to my sister Shawn, she asked me how well I had known John.  Not very well, I’m afraid.  I remember going to Danny’s house often after school or on the weekends, and thinking how much John reminded me of my own little brother Steve.  They were born the same year, and were both your typical farm kids, though John had an “ornery” side to him, and an infectious laugh.   This is a dumb memory, but I remember sitting at his family’s dinner table one evening & declining an offer of broccoli because they reminded me of “little trees”, and John broke out in hysterical laughter.  He liked to tease me about it for a couple years afterward.

I only wish I had more memories to share of ‘John Ira’, as growing up, his family was pretty much my second one.   Dan was like a brother to me of course, but I felt close to all of them.  Their parents William & Freda, their sly older brother Bill, and their lovely sisters Yvonne & Jean Carol. 

It’s been many years but the loss is felt just the same.  Rest in peace, John.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that you and Dan had grown so distant...sorry for your loss just the same.

    ReplyDelete

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