Dear Kevin

posted by Momo Fali on October 15, 2012

Saturday was your birthday. I thought about you all day in between cutting dead branches off of the twisted dogwood tree behind our garage. It felt good to break sticks and tear off limbs; it even seemed right when I broke the saw blade. I did a lot of sweating, burning wood, raking and…living. I breathed big and deep and thought of you.

I can’t believe it’s been 21 years since I walked off the elevator at the hospital and those same lungs had the air sucked from them like the hallway was an enormous vacuum; my vision and the air swirling around me and wooshing down the corridor past the rooms with beeping machines and nurses going about their business. And, you were gone.

There was death before that, but there was no death like that until that moment. I don’t know what I was thinking. That a grown man with Muscular Dystrophy would live forever? Yes, I think that’s what I believed. You were bigger than any disease. In this universe, among billions of people and planets and stars, you were a giant and as strong as any force I had ever known.

I think of you so often; when the house is quiet except for the buzz of a Reds game on TV, when I look at the closed end of Ohio Stadium and spy the spot where you used to sit behind the scoreboard and watch the Buckeyes, when I see someone in a wheelchair and know there is a human being – not a disabled person – sitting in the seat.

A couple of months ago I asked your sister if I could borrow a pen and she handed me this…

I remember this pen cradled in your hand as you wrote. I wish I had saved every scrap of paper that touched it and that I still had your words to read. You and I were kindred spirits with our writing, though as with everything, you were better at it. You would have been a great sports blogger, what with your knowledge and snark. I’ll do my best to post enough of the latter for both of us.

It didn’t really surprise me to know that this pen has never run out of ink; that your sister has carried it in her purse for more than two decades and it’s still working without ever having been refilled. You have ways of making sure we remember you.

Though, I can assure you, we wouldn’t ever forget.


  • Kim

    Xoxo times a million.

  • Mr Lady

    I just love you. I love that we share this day. I am so filled with bittersweetness – thank you for it.

  • Chris

    I don’t really have anything to say except that this was beautifully written and that reading this without saying anything, seemed wrong to me.

  • Summer

    Lovely. Really.

  • Ginger Kay

    It’s amazing how grief hits us over and over again, even after so many years. Kevin sounds like a wonderful friend. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Lori Lavender Luz

    Kevin sounds like a wonderful guy, a treasured cousin and brother.

    I’m sorry for your loss, the world’s loss.

  • Casey

    Beautiful post. Beautiful life. Thank you for writing.

  • Rhana

    It’s amazing how the words of another person can transport you into their memories and you immediately breathe in their emotions. Thank you.

  • Melisa

    Hugs. Beautiful tribute. xo

  • Zak

    God, Momo.


  • Abbie Gale

    This moved me. Thank you. Wish I knew him.

  • Angella


    Big hugs.

  • wyngrrrl

    Beautifully said. Thank you for Sharing.

  • anymommy

    I’m honored to see him through your eyes today. I’m so sorry. I know the grief can cut you down out of nowhere, even after twenty years.

  • Vicki

    One of your most touching posts ever!

  • Veronica

    Love this and loved Kev…so many awesome memories are now filling my head thanks to this post!

  • Laura in Little Rock

    Grief is not linear. We want it to be, but it always seems to ebb and flow and eventually circle around to bite us in our most tender parts, when we aren’t expecting it. Today is 5 days after my Mom’s birthday and 1 day before Nanny’s (mom’s mom) birthday, both delightful, both terribly missed. Several years I hated October for it. Now my sister ensures we meet for brunch and celebrate. This year it was a boozy, girls only brunch on Sunday. Maybe I do still hate October…

  • Jennifer

    Beautiful . . .

  • Karen

    I’m so sorry. *hugs*

  • Mare

    very touching. I’m not sure who Kevin is, but it’s clear he was dear to your heart. I lost a handicapped brother when he was 23…I thought of him too while reading this. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute.

  • meleahrebeccah

    This post is incredibly touching and beautifully written. *big fat hugs*

  • Irish Gumbo

    I fell honored that you shared this memory. A fitting tribute, and lovely.

  • Derry Doo

    Thanks Diane, I forgot all about Kevin’s birthday this year. What’s it been twenty years since he past? …I still miss him.

  • AlisonH

    Tears in my eyes. *hugs*

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