Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Uber-Personal Post

(Update on the perfect dog: He got adopted by another family while I was begging, pleading, whining and such. I'm very sad, but as I know that looking for another member of our family needs to take time to find the right one, I know that our dog is out there, getting ready to come home with us.)

I normally don't get too personal on this blog as I don't want my personal stuff to be out there for all to see, but this post will probably hit home to many of you.

I wanted to share this information with you guys for three reasons: 1.) I have the greatest followers ever and I am just so touched that you would even think my blog is worth reading. 2.) You can't really know someone until you have learned where they have come from. 3.) Some of you out there have known me for a very long time and remember this day as well, so it's for all of us to remember.

Eight years ago today, on Easter Sunday, my step-brother, Devin Ray Ennis, died in a motorcycle accident. He 19, almost 20 and I was 18, a senior in high school. We had been siblings since I was 6 and he was 7. We grew up in a not so perfect family together, but we were siblings, despite what his mother wanted us to think we were.

I can remember every single detail about that day. I can remember what I was wearing, what I was doing, where I was sitting, the way the air smelled and the sunlight coming through the windows when I got the call. I remember the way my sister sounded so calm when she told me, and how it was hard to breathe while listening to it. Easter has never been the same for me since that day. I know it should have a much more spiritual tie to it as he went Home that day, but Easter lost it's wonder for me.

That entire week after he died was just a big blur for me, I didn't sleep, didn't eat, cried constantly, but mostly in private as we were told that we had to portray a sense of calm and strength as there were so many other young adults that were affected by his death. I sat in the front at his funeral, trying to keep it together, but losing it as a friend of mine sang a song, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." I still can't listen to that song without getting emotional. His death didn't really hit me until two weeks later while I was writing an essay for English on "what I had learned my senior year." I just lost it, went home and cried so hard that I had no more tears left. It was devastating.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I have his picture sitting on my book shelf and I see it every day. You learn to move on with your life after a loss like that but you never truly recover. Every Easter I get nervous when the phone rings, I still think that I see him driving around or walking down the isle at the grocery store or hear his voice. It's been eight years, you'd think I would stop doing that, but it still happens. The worst is when one of his old friends sees you at the store and gives you this sympathetic look, which just floods all those bad memories back into your head, making it hard to breathe once again.

Now, this post may seem incredibly depressing, but I wanted to share with you a little something that was just so amazing to me. A few weeks before his death, my sister, other step-brother and I all had these really random memories pop into our heads, memories that we hadn't thought of in years! I now know that my Heavenly Father was trying to prepare us for what was to come, to remember those fun, fond memories that make you smile for days. Since then, I try to remember his life, how funny he was, how quirky he was, how crazy he was, instead of focusing on his death and how he died. It's important to remember those little moments in your life that may seem very insignificant, but they will one day be so cherished.

We all have had to deal with loss in one way or another. Everyone copes with things in different ways. I like to make jokes sometimes or tell embarrassing things about that person all of a sudden. But today, I want us all to think of the happy, fun things of those that we have lost.

Here are mine:
*Devin always asked me to dance at any church or school dance. He usually wanted to know what a girl thought about him or to have me slyly sneak in a good word for him with a girl, but he always did it. It was just special to have a brother do that.
*He CONSTANTLY was stealing my cd's! We would get in his car and I would hear Dave Matthews or Limp Bizcut going. I would slap him every time!
*He would make a batch of No-Bake Cookies just for himself and would hide them in his room so that no one could find them. He did it with bagels too. But I guess if I had 3 other teenage siblings in the house I would have done the same, I just liked my room to be food free.
*He taught us how to play "Door Knobs" and would not let it go until you touched a door knob. (For those that don't know, it's this sick game that if you are caught farting and someone says Door Knobs before you, they get to hit you until you touch a door knob. I know, it's gross. We were stupid.)
*He was incredibly competitive. One time when I got home from basketball practice, wearing only wind pants in the winter, I rubbed it in that I had beat him at something (I don't remember what it was now) and he shot me in the butt with his paint ball gun standing about 5 feet away. I had to sit on a doughnut for a week!

Now it's your turn. If you knew Devin, write your favorite memory of him. If you didn't know him, write your favorite memory of a loved one that is no longer with us. We can share in our pain and joy together.
So, Here's to you Devin! I miss you, love you and will beat you at Door Knobs when I see you next.


  1. Such a lovely post...and SO sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers this Easter!


  2. I didn't know Devin incredibly well, but I do remember him being around my house a lot because my dad was his scout leader. I remember that one year they had a turkey shoot and somehow, they ended up having to kill a turkey in our garage. Devin had to hold that 40 pound turkey to the ground so they could kill it, and that thing beat him to pieces. He had bruises all over his arms and back from the turkey's wings, but he was so funny about showing them to everyone.

    He was so funny and happy and I remember how much he loved going on the scout trips. I too, remember the day when he died, and I won't ever forget it. However, I'm sure he's happy to know that we are thinking of him. :)

  3. Okay I barely new Devin at all. I always thought he was cute and everyone called him Penis. Not the best memory, but it's all I've got.

  4. I totally didn't know you guys were step-siblings!!! How did I miss that??? I'm so sorry, but I'm glad that your are recalling the good times.

  5. Kels -- you have always been such a good follower of my blog...its about time I return the favor. And what a post to read about!

    I was lucky enough to know Devin...and to even have a crush on him for a while. One of my favorite memories is that he was the first guy to give me a kiss (albeit a kiss on the cheek). I remember it was a YM/YW activity at the Coxes on their frozen pond. Devin, being flirty (when wasn't he...like you mentioned in your post...) was throwing snow at me all night. Finally, he picked me up, dumped me in a snow bank, and then asked me if he could give me a kiss on the cheek...(it was very sweet). I said yes...and he did.

    I remember being gone the weekend he passed away and that I found about it while reading the paper in government on monday morning...I just started bawling, and Brad Griffiths felt so bad because he didn't know that I didn't know.

    Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for life and mindful of those who have passed on.

  6. He was always so positive... not like Polyanna positive, but he never really dissed on anybody and was always happy. I remember a lot of guys in the weight room saying that pound for pound he was the strongest kid in school. Being a shy dude who liked to observe people I thought that it was cool that he had that reputation and was still pretty down to earth and friendly.

  7. such a nice post. i obviously didn't know your brother at all but this post still made me want to see my brothers and to appreciate them while I've got them with me. you two seemed to have a fantastic relationship despite all odds, that's so great! :)

  8. I didn't know Devin, and I've been blessed to "know you" through your blog but if you wouldn't mind, I would like to share something a lil personal....My boyfriend lost his dad when he was 18 (murdered-and he was there) and for the longest time he told me he didn't want kids because his dad wasn't here to see them grow up....well after being together for about 10 years, we had a son (named after my BF and his dad so he is a III)....oh I forgot to mention that his dad was killed on the 23rd of December so every Christmas since I've known my BF (I met him about 3 years after his father was killed) Christmas was nothing, all the while, it's one of my favorite holidays....every Christmas my BF would be a total pain, which I understood and just this past Christmas (2010) he finally, and I mean finally!!! participated in Christmas activities, like going to see his family and whatnot....I know how you feel because I lost my first love in a car accident on my best friend's birthday.....that was in 96, I use to have random outbursts but they have subsided, but I do think of him often and talk to him sometimes to let him know I haven't forgotten about him....sorry for the novel, just know that I think Devin is looking down at you and saying "That's my sister!! and look at all she is doing!!" xoxoxoxo



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