Monday, September 29, 2008


I miss Sam a lot. Does everyone else? I think about him everyday. I think about the things I'm doing in my life and how I wish that I could share that kinda stuff with him. It feels weird not to make immediate and long term plans in the Upton living room, or in Max/Sam's room. Mostly I wish I could show him my wind turbines. I saw a huge Japanese maple tree in the SFA Arboretum yesterday. I don't think I'll be in Nac when our tree is that big, so I'm glad I have that image in my head of what it will look like. Whenever I have a permanent residence, I'm going to get one in the front yard.
Maybe me missing Sam's input is my body telling me that I'm missing something more 'core'. Like when I haven't had any protein and I suddenly want a hamburger. I dunno. I typed out about 5 different version of how this paragraph ends and none of them made any sense after a few minutes of thinking.


Don't forget my Alaska pictures. It was a very perfect trip. The oddest thing was trying to remember that I was so far away, and then trying to put that in perspective when combined with the people and the personality of the town. It is hard to explain.


sarah evil said...

if sam was still here, you wouldn't have that tattoo! and besides, even though i'm not a big believer in the afterlife, i think sam knows about your tat and probably is very impressed.

i can't say i miss sam on the same level that you miss him, but i think of him nearly every day myself and there are certain things that remind me of him and the whole upton/nac experience that often make me tear up.

since i wasn't a close friend of his... just a friend on the sidelines of other friends, doesn't make a lot of sense to me that i think of him and miss him so often. but then again it does. sam stands for something now even greater than he stood for in life. i'm not 100% sure what that's complex and it varies.

like when you eat that burger b/c your body needs protein, i hope you find what it is that sam's persistent (and maybe overwhelming?) memory is trying to tell you.

maybe it has to do with some kind of existential concern you’re not facing (death, transitory life events, meaninglessness).

anyways...i wanted to respond and this is what i got. sorry if it's not what you expected. good luck, sean. keep writing about it!

Mike Jaynes said...

I agree with Sarah on the point of writing about the experience. Or talking to somebody outside the situation about it. I've done both, and it's helped in some ways. Obviously, it's not a miracle cure for the feelings, but it maybe helps you grapple with them.

I miss Sam all the time. In a very similar fashion as you - I wonder what he'd think of the people I'm becoming friends with, the fact that I'm teaching, Ohio. World politics today. The fact that I started re-playing Chrono Trigger this weekend. The student paper a friend received that reads like "Full-Life Consequences".

I'm still learning a lot about myself through reflections/counseling on Sam's death and that stage of my life that just recently ended. I think that's something that will continue to be true as I go through life. I sometimes feel like I'm making some kind of "progress" but then I just break down and feel like I'm never going to be at peace with it.

Sorry that this is pretty rambling. I don't have any answers, obviously, but know that you're not the only one thinking about these things. It's not as foregrounded as it was, say, three months ago, but it's still there.

Kacey said...

I still think about Sam everyday, much in the same way that you and Mike describe. I wish I could talk to him about what is going in our lives, Japanese recipes, the current politics, and just random things like the bands that I've been listening to. I had really looked forward to knowing him just as well outside of the awful events that occurred back in April, but then he was gone.
I really miss having conversations and then seeing that ironic smile spread across his face as he prepared to say something funny or sarcastic.

I don't think that I've really gotten past any of the loss, but the shock and initial grief are duller now. He still affects my life, and I miss him so much.

josephine terese said...

sometimes i think about him in the strangest moments. about 20 minutes ago i was standing in line at save-a-lot and the woman in front of me was buying 4 cornbread mixes, some in boxes and some in packets. i stood there and thought for about 2 minutes about how one time i said i liked cornbread and sam brought me like 10 packets and boxes of cornbread over like 3 months. i stood there and smiled and then the moment was gone - i had to pay.
i think about him every time i look at my wrist, where my tsutomu tat is. i think about him when i see certain places, and sometimes out of nowhere, there he is.
i think about him when i see upton, and when i go to dallas..
most of the time i can make it through thinking about him without breaking down. most of the time it's just a reflection i guess. and i' not sad to be sad about it because it would be a dishonor to myself and to sam and to everything we all went through for him and with him. but a few times since the "shock and intital grief" as kacey put it, have passed, i have felt the way i felt then, when it happened. and it is something awful. luckily that doesn't happen much and i can just be sad in an ok way. or glad that i knew sam. and glad that we seemed to keep ending up in the same places.
this is really long i know and it doesn't really answer any particular question you posed but it turns out i have a lot to write about on the subject. i bet we all do..

i know he would like your windmills, and i know he would be glad that we approached his death in probably the healthiest way we could: together.

Brian said...

i think of sam everyday and its almost second nature, its not that its not important, its just that everything around me reminds me of him. its kinda of like when you are in love and you see a cheese burger and you're all like man"one time she and i went on a date and ate cheese burgers" know what i mean, its its "man look at that douche", i wonder what smart witty remark sam would have for this moment, and then i try and make one up and its never as good as what sam would say. when i get those thoughts or when im wanting to do something exciting i still have that urge of calling sam and i have the feeling of him answering. you know how when you are thinking about doing something but you just cant do it but it feels like you already did it (like jumping out of the tree at tonkawa) thats the feeling i have when wanting to call sam. it feels like hes going to answer and the rest of the day is so money and like all of you i am rampling. today i was actually thinking about whats gonna happen on year anniversary. are we all really gonna be able to get together or is it gonna be a half ass plan like when we planned to do the george washington video frame by frame in costumes or the campus wide capture the flag. in no way am i comparing them to sam but ....know what i mean.

im just looking forward to telling the same stories with all of you, every year, for the rest of my life.

Brian said...

dont give me shit for the typos,


Micky said...

Yeah...I think of sam a lot, it's kinda hard not to...
I'm starting to finally stabalize enough in finanaces to start getting real groceries and make meals (not sammiches and other easy foods)...and I walk down the aisles and come to rice...basic staple to the upton house at one point...I wonder what rice i should get, I mean instant rice is just not good enough anymore...and then I vow to make a pork wellington sometime in his honor...I've still got that bottle of tonkatsu sauce (I lvoe it)...
And I'm really glad to find that george got a home finally, that was one of my biggest concerns was someone taking care of george after all of one can deny that awesome connection that they had...
And I can't help but think of what he might have thought of the new starcraft coming out...I woulda told him everything about it that I all all the videos online in amazement (or at least shared them over e-mails)...
I really haven't talked about him too much in awhile, especially with anyone here in austin...I don't rightly know why either...I try to be like him more and more every day...not care as much about what people think, be more hospitable, pay closer attention to those around me, be a hard worker...

And i still have a love for a Gin and tonic...(had no other idea on how to end that)...

*HUG* for everyone...

sarah evil said...

omg, brian! guys were planning of doing the washington video with full costumes?

i seriously feel lucky every damn day for having met you guys. all of you. you each have something special and fun about you. this is why i miss nac so much sometimes!

and sam was a part of that, so i miss him often too. he was very special, and like brian said, you can never think of a witty remark that would be as good as his.

I def. think we should get together for the anniversary, or at least a date near that time that everyone can manage. I would get my ass gas price can stop me!

cornbread hell said...

i didn't know sam well. but i knew him since he was in kindergarten. i don't think about him every day. but i think about how my kids are doing every day and many times that involves thinking about sam.

i admire the way y'all have helped/are helping each other through your loss. in my limited experience i've found it takes about 2 years to work through the major parts of grief and loss - that's with help.
much longer, without it.

now a quick story...
a soccer field: 5-6 yr. old soccer game. all but one player at one end of the field. some right on the ball, others are safely, several yards away, but all playing the game as best they could.

cut to the other end of the field: sam. sitting on the ground. sifting dirt through his fingers. fascinated.

"heavy" coach SCREAMS, "SAM! get your ass UP!"
"easy" coach, "chill, coach. he's doin' great."

and sam looked up at me and smiled. then he went right back to playin' in the dirt.

Mike Jaynes said...

Rick, that story is so perfectly Sam. Thanks for posting it.