Pieces of My Heart

Dear Friends,

You have all been in my thoughts so often…  although it has been very quiet here on my blog for many weeks now.

Our family, like so many others across the globe, has suffered an unimaginable tragedy. My parents, my husband, and I are in shock as we grieve together our huge losses. In April, both of my brothers lost their brief battles with Covid-19 and passed away in the home that they shared. They were being very careful, wearing masks and distancing, as they waited for their turn for vaccines. We have lost two very special pieces of our hearts… and will truly miss them forever. Our lives have been forever changed.

I wish you had known my brothers…

Johnny, only eleven months younger than me, was my very first friend. We were even in the same classrooms from kindergarten through eighth grade. Johnny just loved to design and build things. He learned all about cars from helping my dad. Before he was even old enough to drive, Johnny was working on his own car in the garage. He found his dream job in the high performance automotive industry, where he became a respected expert in his field. Johnny loved building street rods. The dragster he built went so fast that it needed two parachutes to stop! Johnny loved taking his race car to race tracks all across the Midwest on Summer weekends. He spent the Winter weekends working as a judge at the National Hot Rod Association ‘World of Wheels’ auto shows. As busy as he was, Johnny always made time to visit our parents. He always called us to see if we needed any help at our house. Johnny loved to get together for family gatherings of all kinds. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave! His huge circle of close friends are a tribute to this very special man. Johnny’s loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts.

Jeff was eight years younger than me. Oh, how thrilled I was to have a baby brother! We always loved spending time together. Jeff shared my mom’s love for animals and science. He became a wonderful cook and baker just by helping my mom while he was growing up. Jeff shared my love of the French language and we would often speak a few words. He was fascinated by the Native Americans, the American Southwest, and South American cultures. Jeff really enjoyed his time living in a tent in the New Mexico desert digging for artifacts while he earned his degree in Archaeology. He was an avid reader and writer. Jeff loved films of all kinds and gaming with his friends. Whenever we had a question about anything, we would always call Jeff and he always knew the answer! Jeff loved spending time with our parents. He found so many thoughtful, creative ways to make each family gathering special. Jeff had a large circle of lifetime friends, who have shared the many ways that he changed their lives. Jeff’s loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts.

Together as a family, we are sharing memories as we grieve. My brothers’ friends have been helping us all through this deeply sad time. I feel so grateful for the love that surrounds us all. Prayers, cards, letters, flowers, memorial gifts, and donations to the Alzheimer’s Association (our family’s favorite charity) from friends, near and far, are helping us through this very difficult time.

I hope to make time for blogging again soon. I truly miss the places we gather and share our lives. Be well, my friends!

With much love,

♡ Dawn

12 thoughts on “Pieces of My Heart

  1. Oh, dear Dawn, my heart goes out to you and your parents; what a huge loss, indeed. Thank you for sharing your memories of and the personalities and interests of Johnny and Jeff. They sound like very kind, talented, skilled, and interesting men. I will add my prayers for you and your parents and all of those who are grieving and missing Johnny and Jeff. May God comfort you as only he can. Much love, Paula

  2. Dawn, my dear friend, I’m so glad to hear more about your brothers. The way you speak of them speaks volumes about their well lived lives. It must be a great comfort to hear from their friends. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this incredible loss. We are continuing to pray for you all during this time, dear one. Love and Big Hugs!

  3. I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss. It sounds like Johnny and Jeff will be greatly missed. May God’s peace mend your broken heart. 💔

  4. My deepest sympathies to you and your family, Dawn. It is difficult to lose any family member but both of your brothers is tragic, for you and especially your parents. Be gentle with yourself and look to the happy memories if you can.

  5. Dawn, I am so sorry for this terrible loss you and your parents are feeling. I know several families who lost one loved one, and that was too many. But, to lose two brothers has to be some days more than one can almost bear. I am so glad you shared information about Johnny and Jeff. I don’t have any siblings, but I think you must be very proud to have called them your brothers. A loss like this doesn’t go away, but I think you make room in your heart for your special memories and continue on although a family gathering will always have two empty chairs. My prayers to you and your parents. Take care.

  6. Oh Dawn, this is so so awful – to lose your two brothers in the same month is almost incomprehensible. The loss of two good men is a loss for all of us. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I hope the memories their friends are sharing with you are a comfort.

  7. I am so sorry to hear of you deep loss. These things never make sense. Why some succumb and others do not. Know you are in my prayers. Grief has it’s own agenda. You can’t rush it to satisfy anyone else. Sending hugs and love. M

  8. I was so shocked and saddened to learn of your loss. “Pieces of your heart” most definitely. Whenever we lose family or close friends they do take pieces of our hearts with them. You were so generous to share who your brothers were with us and as I expected from knowing you these past few years, they were wonderful, incredible people who’s loss will be felt by many. I am especially heartbroken for your parents; no parent should lose a child not alone two. I will keep your family and your brother’s friends in my prayers as you all heal, in your own time. May faith carry you. 😘

  9. Dear Dawn, I am so sorry for your profound loss. It’s unimaginable. I’m sorry, too, that I missed this post when you published it back in May. I just saw today’s post and came back to read here. Dawn, COVID is such a cruel disease. My heart goes out to all of you. I can’t imagine suffering this double loss, and what it must be doing to your parents as well. You are so strong and brave and kind. Thank you for writing about Jeff and Johnny. It’s good to hear that they lived full lives, but the loss is all too soon. Sending my love and sympathies your way. With a heavy heart, you are in my thoughts.

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