Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodbye Brother

Our youngest brother Chris passed away unexpectedly early Saturday morning at the age of 39.

Chris described himself as a runner, a scooterist, a beginner cyclist, crepe maker, kielbasa maker and software developer living in the hills of NE Pennsylvania.

He loved running. Some of his favorite runs were around Harvey's Lake--he sometimes did two 8 mile circuits in a training session; the Mountain Springs run from 487 all the way down the Mountain Springs road and back; the Deep Six closer to home; the Meyers track where we scaled the fence more than once to get in interval workouts on a good surface; the Devil's Elbow run.

He was tenacious at everything he did. Being the youngest of five boys I think he had to be as he had to always run harder to keep up. He ran the New York City Marathon. He ran the Berwick Run for the Diamonds at the age of 10 and didn't miss more than one or two and perhaps no races over the next 29 years. One summer, at a very young age, somewhere between 10 and 12 my memory tells me, him and all his brothers (save me) and our Dad, rode their bicycles to Maine and back. He was going to ride a bike race on Saturday.

Chris had a BS In Computer Science and he was a great programmer. I remember him and I sitting up all night when I had first gotten a compiler for my Commodore Amiga, writing a runner's log program. He was learning then as we worked together and he quickly surpassed me--he never stopped educating himself at software development and whenever I saw him, he'd have some new .Net book he was reading.

Recently, his artistic and creative side had begun to show itself. He and his wife Laura had married in 2007 and he was very happy. He grew to love crepes and he tried and created what must be 100 recipes or more. He wanted to open a craperie someday. He got a nice smoker for Christmas and had started to make kielbasa and was developing great recipes. Ummm. What Polish boy doesn't love kielbasa?

Chris was a keen observer of life and I have mental images of him sitting amongst friends and family in a group, listening, watching, taking it all in, then offering a gem of wisdom or wit sometimes framing the discussion, sometimes ending it, but usually propelling it into a direction not yet pondered. He was good at that.

He helped me through the darkest part of my life so far, back in 2002 when my marriage was breaking up. For one glorious Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall we trained together every week and he got me into the best shape of my life. He got me to stop worrying and start living again. We did a lot of talking and thinking on those runs.

On this year's Super Bowl Sunday we had started to run together again and were going every Sunday or so since. Our last run together was the Devil's Elbow run two Sundays ago. That was the last time I saw him. Damn! I'm gonna miss those runs!

Chris, I freaking miss you. Walk in the light dude. We'll run again someday.


Anonymous said...

T - I didn't know you put this out. I'm so glad. I kept wanting to do this on FB but... I dunno. I'm stuck and I can't make myself do much of anything. Miss him so much. - L.

tazio said...

I hear you. :O(