Ruined

Peteymonth2
“Peter seems to have adjusted perfectly to his new life. He enjoys being held and swinging in his swing. This past week he has started cooing and looking around. He tries to lift his head but it bobs back and forth still a little. He is a little over seven weeks old and weighs 11 lbs. 10 oz. He has a pacifier that he enjoys. He sleeps during the day in the bassinet in the family room. At night he and Mark and Jeromy sleep in the same room. Peter enjoyed his first outing at the beginning of the month and now goes everywhere and can sleep very soundly no matter where we go. In fact, the noisier the better. His last outing that was eventful was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.”

                                                            – Willison Family Newsletter

 

Peter Willison ruined my life.

And I cannot thank him enough for that gift. He showed me what it means to be a confidant, a sympathetic ear, a devil’s advocate, a ball buster, a friend — A BROTHER!

I’m Jeromy Willison, Petey’s oldest brother, 2nd oldest sibling in our family.

Petey came into my life on July 8th, 1984. I don’t know if it’s just that I have a terrible memory or what, but I don’t remember much from that time. I don’t even remember making the video that is on the about page. Growing up we were basically a generation apart. The things that I remember with Petey were the stupid things, sharing a bedroom, waiting for the bathroom, making Easter eggs, working on the wood pile, playing games, going camping with the Kodak campers. I didn’t think much of it at the time but I love how we would come home after school and watch Batman: The Animated Series together. We wouldn’t talk about it, we would just hang out and do it. Just hanging out, that’s what I miss the most.

Petey always had a great attitude, earnest and caring. Just sincere, genuine. And he ALWAYS had a great sense of humor which would come along with his trademark laugh (that I miss so much). His laugh made me want to laugh, it was infectious.

There was a period of a few years that we didn’t talk. We both learned from that and I think that ultimately we both appreciated each other more because of it. We made sure to work things out between us after that.

As we got older the age difference meant less and less, and it caused an inverse correlation between how much we meant to each other.

He seemed to want to live life to the fullest, and would ask me “don’t you wonder what you are missing out on by not drinking?”. That just illustrated to me that he didn’t want to miss out on the things that life had to offer him. He always seemed to be going somewhere or doing this or doing that.

He told great stories. And even if it wasn’t a great story, just the way he would tell you about it, his exuberance would make you want more, like “yeah, yeah what then?”. He was a great ball buster. But he did it in this way that wasn’t mean, it was done with a smile and sometimes even with his laugh, and you just wanted him to joke around with you some more.

I remember talking with him on the phone for hours and hours, about the dish dish, or about some philosophical debate. And sometimes it was heated, and sometimes it was frustrating, or funny or just stupid. But there was something about it that always felt good — it was the investment that he put into it, which was really an investment into the relationship. He wasn’t afraid to put himself out there, to invest himself in others or to work on relationships.

I don’t think that I realized just how much he looked up to me until recently, when we were going through old pictures of him. There was this one when he was a kid and he had the same stupid hair cut that I did. I wish that I had realized that a long time ago.

But above all else, he had this mindset that was kinda like “what can I do for you?” except he was never really asking, he just did it. It was more like “let me get  this” or “let me do this for you” or “I got this”.

I always thought later on down the road we would live in the same town again, and I would ask him every once in a while to move down here. I thought we were getting to the point where we were on solid enough financial footing that we could really start making dreams like that happen. I don’t think I ever told him, but in my phone it was Andrea (my wife) and him, that’s it. That’s how much he meant to me. Now he’s gone — he showed me good times, better times, fun times, he showed me love, and caring, but most of all he showed me what I’m going to miss out on without him — and now I’m ruined.

Thank you Petey for the joy and the memories you gave to me, for being you, and a friend, and my brother.

Petey — I know I’ve let you down.

To say that I’m sorry doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface, but I’m going to say it anyway.

I’m sorry Bro. I love you and I miss you.

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