Marking My Brother’s Passing

On the one year anniversary of my brother Mark’s death, I’ve written a few notes regarding last year’s events.

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One year ago my father called me up and told me that my brother would shortly be dead.  He and Carole were driving up to Cleveland to be with Mark before he passed.  I told him I would come up the following day.  The next morning Lisa called with the news that Mark was dead.  The week that followed was challenging for all of us.

The previous week I had been in Cleveland.  I had until that point been in denial about Mark’s health.  I had seen other people overcome cancer and fully expected that he would do the same.  Until a week before his death, Mark had appeared in good (not great) health.  He carried himself like many other cancer patients, and I expected that he eventually would overcome the affliction.

Unfortunately, that did not happen.  When the second treatment protocol failed, it failed in a significant and sudden fashion.  I remember in my last visit with Mark, my last words to him (and his to me) were “I wish I could do more for you” to which he replied, “You are doing what you can.”  True, but unfortunately that’s way too little and way too late.  I regret I wasn’t a better brother and there wasn’t more I could do.

Funerals draw people together.  I enjoyed seeing my family.  I am blessed to have the best family on the face of the earth.  I am not someone who indulges in hyperbole, but I don’t have a problem saying that at all.  The memorial service, the celebration at the church were all memories I will cherish.  Our family came together and celebrated Mark and his life, and I’m grateful to all of them.

Post Note:  It’s worth noting that my Grandmother also passed away this year.  I’ve purposely used this picture to also honor her passing.  I’ll write up something separately for the passing of a classy lady.  [Update 4/8/12 – Adalene’s Priorities]

Here is the formal Cleveland Plain Dealer obituary:

MARK J. PAPPAS, SR.,age 45, Beloved husband of Lisa (nee Moyer); loving father of Melanie, Joe and Mark Jr.; loving stepfather of James and Stephanie; dearest son of Marjorie Pappas and John E. and Carole E. Pappas; loving son-in-law of Gerald and Marilyn Moyer; dearest brother of David (Becky); loving stepbrother of Michael Oglesbee (Barbara) and Eric Oglesbee (Davida); dear brother-in-law of Debbie Granger (Duane), Robin Deyoung (Steve), Randy Moyer (Carrie) and Jerry Moyer (Debbie); dear uncle of Matt, Michelle, Alexandra, Ian, Cuilen and Mirai. All Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 24, 10:00 AM at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 22909 Center Ridge Rd. Reverend Father James Dukas officiating. Family will receive friends at the CATAVOLOS FUNERAL HOME located inside CRACIUN BERRY FUNERAL HOME, 23040 CENTER RIDGE RD. FRIDAY 2-4 AND 7-9 PM. TRISAGION SERVICE 7:30 PM FRIDAY. Interment Elmhurst Park Cemetery, Avon, OH. ARRANGEMENTS BY CATAVOLOS FUNERAL HOME 216-226-2200 CLEVELAND • WESTLAKE • FAIRLAWN

Elmhurst Park Cemetery, Avon, Ohio

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Trust What You Can See

Don’t trust the driver who waves you through two lanes of traffic unless you can see both lanes are free and safe.

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Becky struck another vehicle on her way to work yesterday morning.  The driver of the other car was trying to navigate across two lanes of traffic to get into the Tim Horton’s on West Main Street.  They were waved into the space by some good Samaritan who was making space for them in the eastbound inner lane. Well, the eastbound outer lane was a hazard for that person.

You see this all the time on the roads. One well-intentioned person creates absolute havoc for others. While the police cited the driver of the vehicle crossing the eastbound lanes, the cause here is the driver in the inner eastbound lane. They effectively spoke out of turn. They didn’t look or didn’t see Becky approaching from the west. Yes, the westbound driver should have not even tried to enter the Tim Horton’s parking lot here. Yes, they should not have trusted the eastbound driver. I just wish we could hold the eastbound driver accountable for their actions.

Please take a lesson from this. Don’t be the driver that says “it’s all clear – go ahead” when it is not.  Don’t be the driver requesting permission from another driver to cross two lanes of traffic.