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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Last Month

             I woke up on February 25, 2017 around 10am and brewed coffee while I cared over all my pets, the sunshine was shockingly bright and beautiful as i opened up the windows!
             I felt such joy in seeing the sun light warming up the cold dark winter world.
For this wonderful sight I was bursting with energy and activities, I was making plans, writing a projects list and chatting it up with my husband about the appoarching Mother's Day with my family coming over like last year, I even talked about Derek helping me again with some great foods to share!
So in all of this warm sunshine coming into my home, I shared this very song on my facebook profile that very morning in my joy of thinking about spring!

Then suddenly in the late afternoon I was laying on the living room screaming my heart out as my husband sat crying at the sudden news that my brother Derek had died.
        I could stop yelling "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOO!"  as I quickly showered and grab the car keys to get out on the farm to see my hurting family as we now faced this saddest day of our lives.

Derek gave us all the kind of support and stability we each needed. He was so good at looking out for everyone, our family never thought he wouldn't be there anymore as he made us laugh whenever we got together! He leaves such a huge hole in our hearts!

Looking back I sure loved growing up with Derek, we sure had many adventures together and now I have many many memories to capture once again, some I had forgotten completely then I laugh to myself!
And I will never get use to talking about him in the pass-tense.
       I don't want a life without my brother Derek in it! I can keep saying "NO!" as I do, I can keep fighting this fact but I know in my heart this is really happening and I am not happy about it at all, I simply hurt all over and it doesn't go away.......This is the story now, it's not how I would write it out, it's not how I would treat everyone in the end of such a family story. 
It's never going to be the same again for any of us, our brother Derek was truly so loved! He will be so missed!

       I can't believe that all of this happened just a month ago today............and here comes the sun again........ 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hootie And The Blowfish - Let Her Cry (Video)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Special Times

Growing up with my Brother Derek I look back now at all the special times, like those summer days on the farm in shade of the trees or in the loft of the playhouse surrounded by books and cats. 
Derek is holding his big beautiful cat named Chunky in this picture that I took of those special days, of those days in our shared childhood memories....

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sad Times

The weather has been very appropriate for sadness, we have had lots of rain and cold with one sunny nice day in there along this time of bereavement. 

It is as if even the sky is done crying for a bit,
The sun light comes out to warm us up just enough to sit together reminiscing for awhile then the next day is gray again.
Such is the way of grief, the way of hurting loss.

You smile one day and go out into society with new ideas for things to do then the very next day you stay inside crying and looking through family photo albums. (This has been my experience so far away)

I like all my pictures, all my facebook connections and all the stories my brother Derek has left behind.
I like being able to go out to the farm and help my mom as much as I can this month, I know life will go on and get distracting again but for now I like just helping her out in any way I can.
 For these are very sad times, I am as I should be in every emotion and in every memory......

Thursday, March 16, 2017

BBQ Times

It was a family BBQ at my home a year after my mother's stroke, I excitedly setup the kitchen with finger foods and sodas.

I had the toy box out on the guest bed with arts and crafts stuff for my soon to arrive niece and nephews. 
I setup a TV tray by the recliner for my mom to be comfortable to help avoid her constant hurting back while we visited.
The cats and dogs ran in and out while my teenage brothers check out our new place, my sister and my father were talking outside as my husband Tony and brother-in-law Phil watched the BBQ meats cook on. The fresh air and open home was very inviting, having the whole family together was so wonderful for me too.

As my brother Derek pulled up in front of my house under the big old trees and sidewalk of bushes, I race out to greet him with my arms wide open saying "Hey hey hey There Brother, Welcome to my new home!"
He hugged me as he looked around cautiously, I chatted on and on with him about everything going on as I said "Oh weird, I thought the boys were right behind me???"
  Derek suddenly grabbed me in front of him shouting out to "Nope! Nope, Ya shot Debby instead there!" He laughed and dodge around the shooting sounds coming from Daren and Doug.
I squealed back at Derek as I tired to get behind him instead I declared "You used ME as a human shield!?!? What the hell dude, Aren't you guys a little to old to still be playing this game???" 
Derek darted around my landscape and lean against the side of my home, He had 2 brothers down on the ground with his finger shape gun. They seemed to like falling to the ground in such dramas...I rolled my eyes and loudly followed Derek in my protest and surprise of this greeting game my brothers always did while growing up and they STILL kept it up as tradition.

I realized out loud "Ooooh now it all makes sense as to why Davey shot out into the backyard right when you pulled up! I was wondering why he said he had found THE perfect all makes sense now." 
Derek stopped walking beside me in alarm and glanced all around him in panic asking me "Where IS Davey????" 
I smiled on secretly knowing Davey really WAS in the perfect spot. 
Derek asked me again "Where's Davey? Come on, help me out here." He had just one more brother to get, I shook my head saying "Davey will get ya for using me as a shield, I just realize now where he is....and You won't win this time."

Derek was greeted by everyone else by the BBQ on the back patio, He was still looking for Davey all around him while trying to say hi to the rest of the family. But Davey had a perfect spot to shoot just as Derek turned his back to the hidden garden trail and gate.
 Davey popped up with such pride, such delight and I laughed on watching him get Derek perfectly. He really did surprise Derek completely, waiting and waiting like that.
Derek fell to the ground as silly as the other brothers of mine, so I stood over Derek with a clever smile saying "...And you thought I would make a good human shield, once I realized where Davey was I knew he would get ya back for me! HA!" I helped Derek back up to his feet again as he said with smirk "Well, You were the one just standing out in the open like that, Good one Davey! Good one!" 
As I went back through the side door to my kitchen I told our mother all about the shooting game of the boys and how it took me a moment to realize what they were all doing. 
She chuckled explaining "They are always running around trying to shoot each other, I always know when Derek arrives because the boys take off somewhere suddenly." 
I laughed at their silliness and sat with my mom awhile sharing finger foods with her, as we could hear the rest of the family laughing, talking and hanging outside by the BBQ. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Soggy Bottom Boys - I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow

On this sunny warm Monday afternoon I just sit here a moment in gratefulness of all my memories of my brother Derek, I bumped into another snowboarder who works as a physical therapist for my elderly friend Bernice, For Bernice fell and broke her hip on the same weekend as my brother's funeral so I have only been able to see her a couple of times since, we chatted over her lunch time as she seems to be healing now.
Bumping into the physical therapist as she worked with Bernice, we got to talking about all this snow and how it was such a bad winter. Then when she said that she loves snowboarding down Baldy in Sun Valley only recently there was a guy who died in a tree well up there, I nearly fainted and yet bravely faced her with a sad smile "Yup." I choked back tears as I chuckled "That was my brother, so I understand it's very dangerous with so much snow this year." She was so surprised and we talked all about that news story of Derek's sudden death.
Bernice shared "You have a famous brother, I guess." I sat awhile with her talking and she thoughtfully said "This is always going to be a part of you now, the days will get easier but you will never be same as well." I truly loved seeing Bernice again today, I know that she had to loose her parents, her sister and her husband so she knows what she is talking about.
I bet I will run into people down the road who knew my brother or remember this latest story of a snowboarder falling into a tree well again.

It just really surprised me to hear a stranger tell me about my brother like that, it's going to be a big part of me now.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Derek's Awesome Life

My brother Doug put together this video of Derek's life and special moments to watch in the funeral service for last Saturday, ......just last week......(feels like a hundred years ago somehow, as I watch this beautiful tribute to my brother Derek, I sure do miss him.)  

Thursday, March 9, 2017


   It was so beautiful, it was sweet to see a packed out church. To have all my extended family be there, to have us siblings sit together surrounding our parents and starting the memorial service off with "I'll Fly Away." which made me smile remembering how Derek and I sang that song while hiking around church camp in August every summer growing up together.

We had our own groups of friends, at church or at camp we met up in big groups or in our cabin where Mom was reading books on her bed. Derek and I would pass each other in the Chapel or dinning hall since we lived together we spend our time away from each other in our groups of friends. I liked how coming together in our friend groups or at church made us happy to see each other again.

Derek's funeral was at our old church, the one we grew up in and still attended after our parents left it. We were young adults and college kids in that church too. I saw him there as I walked through a building I knew like the back of my hand! I saw memories I took for granted, I saw and hear him call my name as if I were 16 years old again and I remember how he pushed through the doors talking to me at the same time, out into the sun light on to the soccer field, the volleyball game in action or the evening softball games. He loved all the sports with his friends at that church as we grew up, he was always involved with getting the groups out doing something I would always ask him if my girlfriends and I could join in later on too and he would take charge with everyone in getting us into playing with them too.

I even graduated from high school in that church when I was 17 years old. (21 years ago) So having the funeral in such an important place was truly wonderful for such a sad day.

We celebrated Derek's life in the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen! It started off with a round of applause to the life Derek lived! I didn't want to stop clapping and I sure didn't want to see the service end as it was beautiful from start to finish.

I still can't believe this has happened! I still can't see my life in the future without him, He was always there in past, he was always living life fully and excitedly with arms wide open to greet the people who surrounded him and to wisely reflect on the important issues in our society. He was generous and he was genuine too.

I will always miss my brother Derek. His funeral was so powerfully perfect that I will always remember it in awe and in tears! 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Shawn Mendes & Hailee Steinfeld - Stitches (Levi Remix)

There's a video clip of my Brother Derek listening to this song being shared in the world of facebook and it makes me smile over and over again!
I don't want to move on, I don't want to stop talking about him.
I have so much to hold onto with him in my life! 
That as I dance to this song every time thinking of him brings about a smile for me!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Derek Caleb Klein

June 13, 1982 to February 25, 2017
    Everywhere I look around my home today I see his pictures, I see this smile of his and I want to give him a quick call...for a second I forget that he's gone.

My brother, My friend.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Farewell Funeral speech

(My Husband Tony proudily read this in front of everyone at Derek's funeral yesterday)

Let it be said that Derek always kept Christmas well. He had such a joy in the holidays all year long and honored them.
For he would pay attention to what was important in his family for each event and he planned accordingly to honor those traditions and truly delight in being together.

When I was 20 and had my wisdom teeth pulled, Derek and I lived in the cottage on the farm so while I was healing I had night terrors. He would race in to hug me and calm me down but I was so afraid to go back to sleep that he laid down at the floor of my bed to sleep and be close by me, in morning as I woke to find him still on the floor by my bed I felt so safe and so loved by him. I joked as he woke up "Ya know the couch right there would of been better for ya." He smirked back at me as he stretched and woke up replying "Oh NOW you point that out!"

When our mother came to stay with me in Boise a couple of years ago, Derek came over for dinner and sat around the fire pit into the starry night with us.
The conversations was simply fascinating, always enjoyable as we loved discussions and debates, as we visited with our mother she would to advocate for a road trip and we would consider the possibility if we could make it a family trip and work together for her safety and companionship.

Derek shared with me that if the time comes he would be there with me in helping our mother take a vacation and I was so happy to think of the future adventures we could give our mother working together. He wisely added as he hugged me goodbye that night "It won't change the way everything is now. But it could be something to remember! You wouldn't travel with all your dogs too? I might of said "Yes." to helping ya to soon...could be like a zoo now that I think about about it!"
I laughed and reassured him that I wouldn't take all my pets along too.

I sure loved my brother Derek and how easy it was to talk to him about anything!

I will always remember helping him in his kitchen as we got ready for Thanksgiving a few months back, I felt so at home with Derek that I knew it was going to be such a wonderful family time!

He always had a way in bringing our family together again.

I love you Derek!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Last Saturday

           I pull the curtain back to such a beautiful late Saturday morning, "It looks like Spring! I can't wait for Mothers day! that patio needs life like that on it again." 
My husband replied back while drinking his coffee and reading the news feed "I found a new recipe for you Mom, a different style for Shrimp scampi." I laughed and said "She'll be thrilled! I told her that I am going to ask Derek for some smoked meats too this year! She said that we will make up for a bad winter with lots of activities this spring...oh wait I need to call her for her anniversary today, where's my phone?" my husband asked "How many years married again?" I replied "39, I accidentally said 18 years but that is for Davey's birthday today too, he is 18!?!? God, the time won't hold still! I'll call him too and maybe sing for awhile to him." Tony said as he went off to his office "God, what a crazy week this has been, I am sure glad it's over!"

I called Mom and we chatted for awhile, I was left thinking everyone was lazily enjoying this magical sun light Saturday, this first day feeling like spring after such a bad winter. 

My father texted "Call me 911." my heart froze and I thought instantly of my mother, her health sometimes worries me so much. 
Then when my father shared that Derek was killed in a snowboarding accident, my terror knew no boundaries! 
HE was my friend! ....not just my brother!

Suddenly last Saturday was the saddest day of my life, and I thought I had lived through some shit before....

It was a huge thing to me for Derek and I to become friends through my mother's stroke and we grew closer over these last 5 years.

He helped me understand that I won't ever have what I wanted from our parents, I should just let them live as they want and be there whenever I can instead of trying to make it something bigger then it really was.

He said to me once "I know you want a happy ending, but that's not life."

Now almost a week from his death I can remember our walk through downtown as he said that he would help me take our mother on a road trip of course, he just worries that she and I are hoping for more from it then it would really be. 

We often talked about our family whenever we were together, I loved his insight and I didn't feel so helpless when we discussed things together.

My husband Tony said sadly "You and your brother sure hung a lot this past year, I mean more then usual even??? It's like you guys knew how to get around your family and just be with each other naturally, it's like you both knew time was running out." I sobbed as I hugged my husband and then Tony chuckled "You were also nagging him a lot about not being alone on the mountains." I explained through this sharp pain in my chest "I had a thought "He will die in the mountains." once and it bugged me so much! That I HAD to warn him or say something about my gut feelings."

As I drove out to my parents after the news Derek had died, I felt so panicked, so mad and so sad at the same time, our friendship was so very important to me. He would light up a room with a joke or a big smile!

He always gave hugs with no problem, he was a good listener to our father, a good gift giver to our mother, a kind person to our sister and most importantly of all he was a good mentor to our baby brothers!

For me, he was my clever witty friend!
   For me, he was my little brother who was gentle and generous......

AND Who was also very adventurous too!