A Dozen Years

Disclaimer: This post is not so much about me and/or my baby brain, but about something that happened in my life and I existed through 12 years ago today.


“A dozen years.”

That’s what my Mom said when I told her, earlier today, that Buddy died 12 years ago today, September 24.

A dozen years.

The time has gone quickly and it’s hard to comprehend. It’s even harder to believe that all the life I’ve lived and the life he’s missed can be captured within those three little words.

A dozen years.

John Thomas Kaseman II was just 16 years old when he left. I was 19. And I loved him with all the heart I had at that moment, a college sophomore focusing on classes and getting drunk on the weekends. It was a mismatch from the start and was destined for ruin and years and years of fabulous friendship. But, he left.

He died.

He took his own life.

“Buddy Kaseman died…of a gunshot wound in the front yard of his home…” my Grandpa’s voice in my memory.

“Buddy died, Lindsay,” Ryan Biggs calling after his high school’s football game. I never did forgive Buddy for making Ryan grow up and make that phone call to me.

And while I think of Buddy less and less in the front of my mind, in the part of me that lives forward — there is also this part of me that is stranded in the past — in all the uber-dynamic parts of my past — and Buddy is one spot where I get stuck. In my memory, in those nights of drinking where I’d get sad about something…it was always about him. My Aunt Julie told me then, when he died, that this was not something I was going to get over. It was simply something I’d get around, like a big huge boulder in the middle of my life’s path.

And she was right.

And now, with just a few short weeks before I welcome a child of my own into this world, I can NOT imagine losing this baby, my child. Can’t fathom it. I marvel at Buddy’s parents, his sister. Living — existing — through his death remains an incredible feat.

Every year, I have made certain that I had a card at the Kaseman’s house to let them know that I have not forgotten. That Buddy remains a friend in my life.

This year, it slipped away and I didn’t make it in time. It’s not that I didn’t think about it all week, not that it wasn’t on the top of my list. I had sent to Mrs. Kaseman a book that a friend of mine wrote, “The Reason” by Sally Grablick, about suicide and the death of her own son. But that was a few months ago. I feel badly that I didn’t send a card to let them know that I remember, that I still am sad that I don’t have the great pleasure of knowing him as an adult.

I get frustrated, that he didn’t let us the opportunity to be grown-up friends. I’m sad that we didn’t get the chance to grow apart, like I have with the majority of the rest of my Clear Lake friends. I’m troubled with the could-have-been’s, should-have-been’s…but only in the back of my mind that lingers on things that happened a dozen years ago.In the here and now, I’m giving myself today to remember him when he creeps into my mind and to simply relax ahead of the craziness I’m so looking forward to when our Minnie makes her debut.

Now, I’m focusing on the things happening in the future — and how exciting and potent my future is, with Jon, with our Minnie.

But still, the part of me that remembers a dozen years ago, nights on the lake, drinking in random fields, enjoying the freedom that a teenage summer allows, the way his sweaty hands felt in mine, the way his white t-shirt and tattered jeans hung on his body that night in the thunderstorm outside my grandparents’ cottage — that part of me misses him. All ways.

As always, I miss him better than I ever loved him.

I remain sorry for that.

3 thoughts on “A Dozen Years

  1. I can’t believe it has been 12 years, I too remember that phone call and that frantic drive up north going 100 miles an hour for no reason at all. It is amazing how experiences shape us and never leave our memories but slowly fade with time. Lindsay you are such an amazing women and I am so proud to call you my friend. With so many changes through the years our friendship has endured and grown so much. I’m glad to have you in my memories of clear lake friends and even more happy that you are now my life long friend. I no Buddy would have felt the same way. I can’t wait to meet minnie and continue our journey through life. I can only hope our kids can follow in our footsteps, building a life long friendship of their own.

  2. Remember you called me and said to me ‘I can’t understand ‘. i’m not sure you remember my answer because you questioned God . And I told you God gives us free will . What we do is of our own doing , sad but true . He was a beautiful youn man , who can know what lay ahead of him .but how wonderful of you to hold him in your heart for so long , What a wonderful friend you are to thoes you love . I hope you pass that on to little ” Minnie “.

  3. Lindsey I am just now reading this…I kinda stumbled upon it on accident…..I believe you sent me a link or something but I couldn’t open it. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for never forgetting, thank you for always thinking of me and my parents and thank you for just being you. This year his anniversary had been an especially dificult one for me and I am not sure why. Time goes on……your words really hit the nail on the head, about the boulder. I know that he is up there smilng down on us and helping us through any road blocks we hit now. I still think of the what if’s, could have’s, should have done’s, just not as often. My two daughters have brought me so much joy in life. I wish he could have met them because I know what an awesome uncle he would have been! The crazy thing is in some ways I think he has….my little on is pretty much him. only in the female version! They often talk of him as if they knew him, which makes me smile because I know they will forever remember him too. I am so happy to her of all the joy in your life and wish you nothing but the best. I read your post tomy mom and she was glad to hear that things were going well for you. I miss you seeing up in Clear Lake but times do change and I don’t frequent the area nearly as often either. I live down in Grand blanc now and reading your post about fenton, I assume you live around here as well ,….Maybe someday we can do lunch or something and I will get the chance to meet your little minnie…..Take care your self and your 3 person family. I know everyone has probaly told you thins….but cherish her now they really grow really fast! Good luck, tell her you love her everyday, it is amazing how sometimes those 3 little words get taken for granted

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