Friday, January 7, 2011

My Brother Frank

Shelter Island 014 How do you keep writing about food when life throws you a curve ball? Do you just pretend nothing happened and keep blogging about cookies, cakes and tiramisu? Or do you pause from what seems like an inconsequential activity to reflect on the event with your readers?  I’ve always wanted this blog to be about food - not my personal life - and I certainly never intended it to be maudlin. Yet when I took a blogging break during my husband’s illness and subsequent death, readers emailed to find out why I’d dropped off the planet. I had to explain.

My post about “A Birthday Soufflé for Rich” not only gave readers insight into why I had disappeared from the blogosphere for a while, but was also therapeutic in expressing the emotions that threatened to overwhelm me. A surprising thing happened as a result, with dozens of total strangers responding to show concern for me and my family. So many of you said you missed my posts and were waiting for me to return.

My brother Frank followed my posts and also encouraged me to return to blogging.

Frank Second Photo

My brother Frank - an expert mycologist who loved to cook, and who wrote a guest post for me in June 2009 on foraging for mushrooms.

image My brother Frank - who as a young boy, was always the mischief maker in the house, but as an adult excelled in everything he did.

Top-35 My brother Frank - who as a handsome young sailor in the U.S. Navy, served as a ceremonial guard aboard the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston’s harbor, and spent months incommunicado on the U.S.S. Henry L. Stimson, a nuclear submarine.

My brother Frank - who traveled the globe in his work as project engineer for a multi-national pharmaceutical company, but who favored the natural beauty of  the woods more than any cosmopolitan place on earth.

Oct-Nov. 2010 163

My brother Frank – who loved the ocean as much as the mountains, and who was equally skilled with a fishing rod as with a rifle:

Frank - bass My brother Frank - who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,  at just about the same time as my husband.

My brother Frank - who died on New Year’s Day.

July 2009 645 

My brother Frank - who was loved by his family and close friends, and who will be missed very much.

My brother Frank - who’s now in a special place with the rest of my loved ones who have also left this earth.birds talkingMy brother Frank – who was writing a book about his hunting trips  including these paragraphs in the intro: 

“It’s not about killing a monster buck or shooting a deer 300 yards away from a heated tripod elevated hut. We are not trophy hunters nor are we disappointed when we don’t ‘bring home the meat.’  I’d like to get the monster buck as well as the next guy, but that’s secondary to why I hunt. Just being out in the woods and sharing my experiences with my buddies is what it’s all about for me.  Most times during the year, I can be found at a local archery club, or in the woods photographing nature, hiking and looking for mushrooms. Each of these pastimes aids in sharpening my skills for the glorious 10 days of autumn hunting.

Make no mistake about it. I am a hunter, an outdoor enthusiast, an observer of nature. But hunting takes up only a small portion of my outdoor endeavors. A quiet walk in the woods observing nature unfolding around me,  spending solitary time fly-fishing in a meandering trout stream or feeling the salt spray on my face while at the helm of my sport fishing boat are what I consider quality time. The outdoors is the real story and I feel privileged at having had the opportunity to spend time there.

A tree hugger I am not, but I have had the pleasure to hike through ancient northwestern forests, only to be humbled by the majesty of old growth hemlocks, cedars, and douglas fir as I listened to the muted sounds of solitude. Although I do not admit it that often, I have purposely removed my walking boots to feel the spongy forest duff beneath my toes. I strongly believe we are only temporary patrons of the land we live upon, and as such, enjoying and respecting Mother Nature should be paramount in any outdoor endeavors we undertake. As outdoorsmen and hunters, we have a responsibility to nature and to the quarry we seek. Never take this for granted, for someday it will also disappear.”

Oct-Nov. 2010 171

 

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57 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I am so sorry to hear that. What a big loss. Your brother must have been a wonderful individual.

All my condolences to you and your family.

Blogging can be therapeutic...

Hugs,

Rosa

doggybloggy said...

I am sorry to hear of your brothers passing - as envious as I was I certainly enjoyed hearing about his mushroom foraging successes and while I never knew him I will miss him. My sincerest condolences to you and your family during these difficult times.

Valerie @ Love through the stomach... said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. From what you write, your brother must've been an amazing person. I wish you and your loved ones all the strength to deal with your loss.
Hugs
Valerie

Peter M said...

DAMN! This is overwhelming to have to great losses in your life. Your strength and resilience awes me, Linda.

I wish I could give you a big hug and listen to your stories about your husband and brother.

Cathy said...

Oh, Linda, I'm so very sorry to read about your brother. You have had two terrible losses in a very short period of time. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jan said...

Linda I'm so sorry to read about your terrible losses. Life sometimes just really isn't fair.
A big hug to you, try to stay strong x

Proud Italian Cook said...

Oh Linda I'm so sorry, what a remarkable man your brother was. Such tremendous loss you've endured between your husband and brother! My heart goes out to you and your dear family.

A big hug from me,
Marie

Kate said...

Oh Linda, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your brother must have been an amazing man. My condolences to you and your family.

janie said...

Linda-words cannot express the sorrow I feel for you and your family. I hope you can find the strength to get through these days and weeks. I am thinking of you.

Paola said...

Oh Linda. Life is really trying you, the hard way. Please accept my sincere condolences for another tragic loss, so close in time and blood.
I started reading the post and noticed the past tense and my heart shrunk.
I would like to hug you, but know we are here and LOVE your blog and yes, I am sure it can be therapeutic.
Blogland is not just a computer thing, it's a community of friends and friends are there in moments of need.
Be strong, we'll be here.

Bella Baita View said...

Un'abbraccio Linda. Thank you for sharing your life with us. What an insight into your brother's spirit through his words and a glimpse of your beloved husband and your relationship. How courageous and kind of you to share. You write beautifully of such unimaginable loss in such a short time, and your lovely feline family member to boot. It seems like just too much to bear. We're out here in the blogosphere and wish you well and here if ever needed. Marla

Margie said...

what a beautiful post... my deepest sympathy...

black eyed susans kitchen said...

When you feel like it Linda, please write more about your brother and your husband. They were such interesting and amazing men. Your blog has inspired me to try my hand at recipes that I might never have tried, and has led me to interesting ingredients and venues. Part of what makes you who you are is who you have spent your life with and who your influences were. Words cannot express how sad I feel for your loss. Sending prayers and hugs your way.
♥, Susan

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am so sad, Linda, to hear of the loss of your dear brother Frank! This tribute to him is so heartfelt and beautiful! Frank was an inspiration who lived his life to the fullest, as a man who was one with nature.

My deepest sympathy to his family and to you and your family. You've lost such wonderful men! I know they would want their families to go on living a life with meaning and purpose.

May the peace of their eternal love give you all strength during this difficult time.

{{Hugs}}

Pat

Daniela said...

Linda mi spiace tantissimo per la grave perdita di tuo fratello, questo è un momento non facile per te. Condolianze e a te e ai tuoi familiari. Un abbraccio Daniela.

Claudia said...

The essay really hit a lovely chord. My husband is an outdoor enthusiast. Every few years,he builds a deer stand and revels in being in the woods on an icy, November morning. Once upon a time he proposed to me and went deer hunting the next morning at 5 a.m. (Doubtless wondering what he had done the night before!). I felt Frank's appreciation and love of all things natural - as well as his joys in hunting when I read this. I am so glad he left these words. Where can they go?

Linda, your losses are indescribable. Your life has been so enriched by the love you shared with Rich and Frank. It's not fair - nothing about life will ever be fair but you have and have had extraordinary people in your life. Such riches. I shall say prayers and send prayers, condolences, sweet thoughts, love and hugs.

A or K said...

Aunt Linda, this is beautiful. Thank you for putting into words the wonderful man my Uncle Frank was.

StephaniesCooking said...

I am so, so sorry about your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Recipe for Delicious said...

I admire the strength it takes to share this, and I hope sharing helps you in the journey of your grief. May your brother live on in your hearts and on your lips. You are in our thoughts Linda.

FOODalogue said...

I am so moved to once again be reading a beautiful tribute to someone you lost.

My sympathy to you and your family.

Patty Kay Mooney said...

Hello Linda, My condolences to you and your family. We know what you're going through right now because we lost my brother, Joe in early December, just before the holidays. And we had just lost our dad (the other "Joe" in our family) in April - a double whammy. My brother Joe died of a heart attack so nobody had any warning; it was a sucker-punch in the gut to all who knew and loved him. I will tell you the same thing I tell myself which is to revel in all the good times that you shared with him. Cherish those memories. Commune with him in nature, the place where he delighted in being. Look for him in the trees, the heart-shaped rocks, the rainbows, the water, the sky.

AC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AC said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother Frank and all that you've been through in the past few months. Thankyou for sharing this with us. Will be praying for you and your family.
-Angelica

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry to read about this additional loss. Your family with be in my thoughts and prayers. He sounds like a lovely man.

janet

tinyacorndreams said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. What a sweet tribute to your brother, what an amazing man. I hope that your post will bring you some peace. Thank you for sharing with your readers.

Lucia from Madison said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Just remember that we, and I am speaking for everyone that has commented here, are your friends and are here for you if you need us.

The Healthy Gourmet........................ said...

At our last family reunion as the elders sat on a picnic bench for the annual picture, my cousin walked up behind me and as I commented "Now that's a site we may not ever see again" he looked at me and said "Yup, Sue, but think about it....we are next". I do not think I will ever forget that moment. Remember and cherish what you have today because tomorrow comes way too fast. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathy to you. To know your recipes and your family memebers go hand in hand. Thank you for sharing your recipes as well as the main ingredients of your family. May your faith carry you through and your memories forever warm your heart. One day at at a time....

Anonymous said...

I was sorry to learn of the loss of your husband and now your brother. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Stay strong and take care of yourself. Lisa from Pittsburgh.

♥peachkins♥ said...

My condolences to you. I am so sorry to hear about his passing. This post was such a nice tribute to how wonderful he is.

astheroshe said...

I subscribe to your blog via email. I don't always read every post, but this one certainly had my attention.

I am very sorry for your loss, of your husband and now your brother.
My mother died of pancreatic cancer 11 years ago. When I hear of other families battling this diagnosis, my heart and soul goes back to that time with her..and also to you and your family.

It is a lovely dedication to your brother. May you find peace and heal quickly

Scintilla said...

Sometimes life stinks, and it's sure given you a heavy blow. You do well to remember them but fight back and live your life as they would have wanted you too. That's the biggest tribute you can pay.

My heart goes out to you, Rosa

Sheryll And Critters. said...

I am so sad with you. Words can not express the sympathy and empathy I am feeling for you. I don't see how you can even cook, much less blog. May God be with you and keep you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda and family, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of both your husband and brother.The previous articles about them and how much they loved life and family and the recent tributes to them help us realize how much you truly loved them.

katiez said...

I am so very, very sorry! What a tragic time for you and your family.
And what a lovely tribute to your brother. My thoughts are with you.

Cecilia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

Cecilia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

miranda said...

I am so sorry for you and your family on the sad loss of first, your husband and now your brother Frank. But Linda, keep on blogging on food and your personal life we all love to hear about it. It is good for the soul. Love Miranda

Denise said...

What a wonderful tribute to your brother Frank!! I'm so sorry for your loss.

((Hugs)) from a fellow food blogger!

Bridgett said...

Linda, my heart goes out to you for all you have been through lately. I wish you the best in the New Year and send you love and happiness. Please take care.

Linda said...

Dear Linda...as someone who has also had to deal with this horrendous disease taking loved ones from me... all I can do is send you some big, tight,warm, hugs....
Cancer sucks...and sometimes life sucks too...
I am so sorry for your loss, and so sorry you have had to deal with so much loss in so short a time...your brother sounds like he was a fabulous guy!
Love to you...
Linda~xo

I Sicilian said...

My deepest condolences to you. I missed your posts but there times in life for everything. Ecc 3:1-8.
Take time to heal!

Anonymous said...

ciao Linda in questi giorni abbiamo ricordato quando Frank è venuto in Italia con suo figlio, ci sembra ieri.Siamo lontani ma i nostri pensieri e ricordi dei momenti passati insieme sono molto vicini a tutti voi. un abbraccio forte un bacio Lucia

Marcellina said...

Dear Linda, I am so sorry for your loss! What a tragedy for you to have to lose such dear and treasured loved ones in such a short time. One wonders? Sometimes it can help to write your thoughts and emotions. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Barbara GF said...

Oh, Linda, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your brother. Life is truly not fair. Your tribute to him is so lovely and heartfelt. I can feel the pride and love you shared. May your family and friends provide the love and strength you need at this time. I think your writing about it may help the healing process. My condolences and prayers go to you and yours.

Linda Lou said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-his own words describe what an amazing man he was, and how his spirit lives on in the forest, mountains and the nature he loved so much.

Marysol said...

Linda, I would like to offer my condolences for the loss of your dear brother and friend.
May his enthusiastic spirit live on in the hearts and minds of all those who loved him.

Gracie said...

One loss after another, and so soon. I'm deeply sorry to hear about that. You're in my thoughts.

Ethnic Girl Fun said...

I'm so sorry. The entry about your brother was very nice.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Dear Linda,
I think that when we first began our food blogs, our intention was to share our recipes and organize them. What I've found is that I enjoy getting to know a food blogger on a more personal level. Who knew that I could feel a friendship to those who visit my blog and vice versa? I did miss you and wondered what happened. Sharing the loss of you husband, and now your brother, takes courage. It might make you feel a bit vulnerable. I was sorry to read that you got hit AGAIN. Thank you for sharing this personal part of your life. Take your time and blog about food when you are ready. I'll wait and I wish you healing in your losses.
Hugs, Debby

Joyce said...

My heart goes out to you at this time. Not easy having another family member pass on especially on a holiday so soon after your dear husband. Linda my heart hurts for you and I would have liked to have sent you a Mass card but I do not have your address. Please know that I am thinking of you and I encourage you to keep writing such a wonderful food blog.
Hugs
Joyce

casalba said...

How sorry I am to read this. What a very sad time you have had recently. Once more, I wish you strength and send you my very best wishes.

joe@italyville said...

A wonderful tribute Linda. Thank you for sharing his mushrooms with me. A difficult year 2010... I hope 2011 is as wonderful to you as your brother and husband were.

angelitacarmelita said...

Reading your thoughts of your brother, made me catch my breath for a moment and think of the things that I remember and miss about my own dear sweet brother. I also loved reading the things your brother wrote; what a wonderful person he was, and remains in your hearts and those that knew and loved him. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Frank said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. Please take the time you need. We'll be waiting when you decide to start blogging again!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh dear Linda - I am so sorry for your losses. How devastating. It's good to hear that your blogger friends can help ease the pain and sorrow, if only a bit. From reading your posts about Rich and Frank, it is clear that you have been blessed to have had such incredible men in your life. Thank you for sharing them with us. May your memories of them comfort you.
Toujours,
Lori Lynn

Catherine said...

Linda,

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Pancreatic cancer is an awful disease. I lost my Godmother, aunt and role model to pancreatic cancer three months before my grandfather also passed away... from the same cancer. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Catherine