Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Remembering the Good & the Bad

There are times I have wished for a severe case of amnesia, but it never came. Why is that the negative, the hurt, are the feelings and memories that stay with us? How do we let those go?

It would be so lovely to not remember this date in time, this "anniversary" if you will. March 15th is the 21st year since my brother Jim was killed, taken from us so tragically and violently. The pain has changed. It's dull. Not so sharp. Doesn't take my breath away now.  

The nightmares are gone. Looking over our shoulders. Being uncomfortable in our own town and skin because it felt like I would always be known as  "the girl who's brother was murdered", etc, etc. Time erases so much. There are many people who have forgotten and others who never knew. In some ways it's nice that this night so long ago is not a common topic of conversation anylonger. However, I will never forget....the fear and anger and hurt and violation of having a sick, twisted man shape my life, my being and take my brother. 

Where is Dubasz today? Well, he's free wherever he is and he just may well be deceased as he would be 88yrs by now. 
 I do pray that he does not have the ability to torment, stalk and hurt people any longer. 
How do I feel about him? Nothing really. Disgust and nothingness. He is nothing to me now. Nothing but a bad nightmare.

So, that is where a case of amnesia would be nice.

However, I would like to vividly remember the moments shared with my brother. If only those moments when I was an infant and Jim was 7yrs old, standing outside my crib, watching me sleep, saying,
"She's bootiful. Like sweeping booty." (Sleeping Beauty).

Or how about when Jim would let me drive his truck as a teenager. Even when he felt it necessary to give me "the talk" about the birds and the bees...such as it was. At 13yrs old that was the LAST thing on my mind and he was 21yrs...and I wanted to crawl under the seat of the truck or dive out the window while he gave me his sound older brother advice. Which I did not need, thank you very much, and by the way Jim, where ever you are, "It may be fun Maggie, but you have to be safe" is quite hilarious as far as advice goes and was so not required then! You nutbar!

Gertsma Family Aug 1990 Jim middle back row, blue Tank Shirt

Jim adored Mom and would do anything for her. He also like to tease her and she loved every minute of it. I can almost hear the two of them laughing as he would put his arm around her shoulders, squeeze her really tight and ask if she had taken her "spinny pills" today. Nice!

Jim bbqing Aug 1990

 Jim was all about steak whenever he had the chance to use his barbequing skills or consume a disgustingly huge one with all the trimmings. He may have even won his dinner for free a time or two his penchant for steak. ~  Bleck! Steak is not for me.~
Jim & K - buddies-
 A sense of humor and love for kids was part of Jim too. This little guy above was one of Jim's little buddies. They spent a lot of time together and Jim had a soft sport for K and other kiddos we knew.
Jim is the baby on Mom's knee.
That fluffy cheeked fellow on my mom's knee is toddler Jim. I can only imagine the stuff he got into as a curious toddler and hope that those memories are as fresh as the day they took place for my mom. Losing a child, regardless of how old, is unfathomable. So hopefully those childhood memories are strong for her.

Memories are an amazing thing. They can feel so real. The mind plays tricks and also makes life sweeter with those treasured days gone by. So, as tomorrow looms and all the horror that came with it all those years ago, there will be a part of me that is holding tight to the special memories, even though the tragedy seeps through.


  1. I feel so heartbroken for you in the loss of your beloved brother. He is obviously greatly missed. Thanks for sharing your sweet memories.
    love to you!

  2. You only share this peek into your heart once a year. And I'm guilty of forgetting over time during the year that follows. And when I'm reminded it makes me want to squeeze you in the biggest hug. Even though I only know what you've shared here...I also know that this tragedy has shaped you and I know even when the rest of us don't remember - you carry this in your heart always. XO