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.