I've put off posting this because if I posted, then it's final. in the books. for real. I'm still not really able to wrap my head around the whole thing that my big brother is actually not here on Earth anymore. It's all still very difficult to accept. I just miss Jeremy. I miss that I can't call and talk to him if I want to. It just stinks. I do, however, want this post to be special because Jeremy was my special big brother. I love him so much and will always stick up for him and defend him. His heart was so good, he was such a good person and he LOVED his family SO MUCH. Amidst the grief, we had SO much love and support from family and friends and it has been amazing to feel the love the Lord through all these wonderful people in my life. It was amazing to have all of our family members rally together to give comfort and love to each other as we all truly have suffered a tremendous loss.
On Thursday thanks to my fabulous in-laws, I was able to get away with just Jared and go up to my parent's house to meet up with Jeff, Britt, Mark and Kari and each of their little ones. It was SOO good to talk and cry with my brothers, sisters and parents. Watching the picture slide show was soo good and getting to talk through things I was thinking and feeling with those experiencing similar things was even better for me. My parents have been amazing. They are truly at peace with where and what Jeremy is doing now and that brings joy to them. Jared and Dreyson (Jeff and Brittany's new baby) are just 10 days apart, Jared being the younger of the two! ;-)
As Jeremy’s brother, I am grateful to share my thoughts and feelings about him as he was so much a part of my life…(Although I think I was selected for this task because my family assumed I was the only one that could make it all the way through without crying which I now doubt will happen) But I hope and think that in some way I can also reflect the thoughts and feelings of Jeremy’s family and friends had they had this opportunity and honor.
Dad called me late in the afternoon on August 23 to inform me of Jeremy’s passing. I could tell by the tone in his voice that something wasn’t right and I asked if everything was ok. He said no and then shared with me what he knew of Jeremy’s passing. For those of you who knew Jeremy this is a day that many of us have potentially prepared our hearts for, Jeremy has had many close calls with death. I remember at an early age (my Mom recalls I was 2 or 3) climbing up the ladder in our mostly unfinished two story barn to crawl across the beam that would connect us to several kittens that we loved to play with. I would never attempt this on my own but I knew that anything Jeremy could do I could do as well because he would NEVER let anything bad happen to me….He was MY big brother and he took that responsibility seriously. Nothing bad happened this time although the potential for disaster was certainly ready to unfold. It wasn’t a couple of years later we were climbing up the outside of that same barn when Jeremy missed a step and fell to the ground landing on a metal rebar exposed in the cement foundation that was partially unfinished. Fortunately Jeremy escaped death this time only to suffer a non-fatal stabbing in the leg. Another time I remember our neighbor and one of Jeremy’s best friends Brent Morris return Jeremy to our house covered in blood after a Motorcycle accident. He had been traveling too fast as he typically did and hit an unanticipated undulation that catapulted him into the air. Luckily Jeremy surrounded himself with good people. Many of you here today have prolonged Jeremy’s life in some way because of your love for him and your ability to help others make wise decisions. There was the time he flipped off a bridge into the American river and over rotated to hit the water knocking him unconscious. I believe it was Clint Lane that was there to pull him out that time. Jeremy truly loved to live life on the edge. He gave us all a scare recently when he rolled his truck off a cliff on the side of Hwy 50. After seeing the wreckage it was truly a miracle he survived. Unfortunately we couldn’t always be there to save Jeremy and this time caught us a little unprepared.
Looking back on some of what I would deem were some of Jeremy’s favorite memories quite a few come to mind. One of our favorite things to do was to hop on our big wheels and ride down the back hill. We would run to the top of the hill, hop on the back and fly so fast down the hill we would have kick our legs in the air to keep the pedals from smacking our feet. Jeremy, remember the time we stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Stacy’s when Mom and Dad went to Hawaii for the week? We went to the circus, marine world, and the zoo. I remember staying up until 2am playing games with Grandma and Grandpa Stacy and their slot machine. We loved jumping on the trampoline, running through the sprinklers, and playing GI Joe in the forest. We were part of the Get-along-Gang with our own tree fort and club. Remember when we would build the fastest snow sledding tracks down Deadman’s hill? Remember the times we would rehearse our own rock concerts as kids. You were lead guitar and singer while I jammed on the drums or piano. You loved to play instruments. I remember your 1st guitar, then an electric guitar, followed by piano then trumpet. You were always a great builder with legos. You had the largest collection and could build the most amazing cars, trucks, airplanes etc. It doesn’t surprise me that your talent carried over to your profession as a mechanic and carpenter. Jeremy you were definitely the hardest worker I know. Your natural strength allowed you to work far beyond the bounds of the average worker. We used to split wood in the summertime together so we could sell it to the neighbors to pay our way to scout camp. You were a good example for me on my trail to eagle scout having watched you complete yours only a couple years before I did mine. The multiple scout camps filled with swamp romps, rock repelling, and high adventure trips. You were always so organized and paid such attention to detail. Dad and Mom taught us to work for our own things. We bought our own motorcycles, go-carts, and cars. Luckily for me you were more mechanically inclined. I became your tool boy. We would spend many hours taking engines apart and somehow you always managed to put them back together and have them running stronger than ever. In fact I’m going to need to find a new mechanic. You never charged me a penny. You had the kindest heart and a great sense of humor. Everyone loved to hear your contagious laugh. We are all going to miss you the most at Christmas. You always gave the best presents. I am going to miss backpacking and camping with you. Remember the time we were backpacking up above Tuolumne Meadows and we poked our head out of our tent to see Dad chasing off a bear. The memories of Yosemite each year with our cousins growing up will shape the future for my kids and their cousins. Remember catching shelter in Grandma and Grandpa Hobbs camper when it would rain? We could usually talk Grandma into a game of marbles or get her to make some yummy enchiladas or sneak an ice-cream bar. As we got older taking Grandpa’s rafts River rafting and you and I would compete on who could jump from the highest point cliff diving. Riding motorcycles and quads out at sand mountain and blasting off fireworks and shooting guns were some of the most exciting times. You definitely knew how to have a good time and enjoy life to the fullest.
Now some thoughts from your only sister…Sheila remembers, You were a TRUE big brother Jeremy. You were the ringleader and Mark, Jeff and I were your crew. I had to be tough if I wanted to hang with you guys. I wanted you and Mark to like me so badly. I wanted to be included in everything you guys were doing. Even if it meant me getting saran wrapped to a tree, through my tears, I loved hanging out with you guys. You were always doing fun things together. When you included me, it made me feel so special, like when we were driving to Yosemite riding up in the top part of the camper. You had your brand new yellow Walkman and you let ME listen to it...MC Hammer. You were a super protective big brother, always looking out for me. You even told Mom when I had my first boyfriend in 4th grade and she made me break up with him. When I went away to BYU and I was so lonely, you were there for me to cook me steak, take me to fun places, and get me out of the dorms. You helped me buy my first car, put a decent stereo in it, installed speakers that YOU bought me, and were happy to do all of it. You got so much joy out of seeing me so happy. I always knew how much you cared. Your talents and skills with tools were amazing. You took an entire day to install my garage door opener in my first home. You were always there for your family and we knew it. You had my back 100%, you were the best big brother. Jeremy, you are my children’s favorite uncle, by far. Your smile and laugh made the kids all happy and they knew that you loved them.
Jeff your youngest brother remembers, Jeremy you were always my brother I could threaten other kids with, but yet the kindest sweetest person that would help me and our family with whatever they needed. You loved to see me get excited for things. Remember when you sold a bunch of your belongings at the flea market to buy me a power wheels? That’s just the kind of person you were. You would sacrifice your own wants to make someone else smile. Remember spending hours installing stereo systems in my truck? I remember watching you light up every time we would finish, and the bass would hit for the first time. You would smile from ear to ear and shake your head up and down as if to say… that’s right! You were so naturally strong. I remember when I would be working out in the barn and you would come in and throw every weight there was on the bar and you would rep it three to five times like it was nothing. The bar would be bending and I remember thinking I sure hope he can lift this off his chest because I knew I couldn’t. Jeremy you were such a hard worker. Dad always taught us to put our name on our work and you always did. You took such pride in your work. I remember you waxed Mom’s blue van once and Mark accidentally got water on it right after you finished. I was legitimately scared for Marks life when he did that because he messed up your wax job. I think that was the fastest I ever saw Mark run. Overall Jeremy I just remember you for your huge smile and heart. You always made me laugh when I was around you and you had my back 100% all the time. Love you so much big bro! Until we meet again.
Mom will forever have your bright smile in her memory and will miss your big bear hugs for she truly knows she was loved by you. A mother’s love is unconditional and all she wants is to see her children progress and be happy. Mom is at peace and knows that you can now accomplish that.
Dad remembers how you reached out to those who were less fortunate than most. For example Danny Smith was in a wheel chair yet that didn’t scare you from befriending him. He remembers your ability to build legos and erector sets or model cars and how you would work on them into the middle of the night until completion. He recognized the joy you received while helping others. You had unconditional love and protection of your siblings and their families. Dad also wanted me to remind you that you are his FAVORITE son! And that he is going to miss his riding partner for afternoon motorcycle drives out to the forest and backpacking with you in the summer. Rest in Peace Jeremy.
Some thoughts from your best friends Brent Morris
It was hard for me to think of just a few things to say about Jer. I truly do miss him, he being my best friend will never be replaced and will be in my heart forever. I so wish that I could have helped him, I would have done anything for him. Anyway if I'm all teared up I won't be able to type so I'll get the the point.
He was the best co-pilot for driving I've ever had. We covered thousands of miles together. From our road trip to Mexico, short trips to Sly Park Lake, and the countless trips 4-wheeling he was always the best co-pilot ever. From unwrapping my food and handing it to me that we had picked up at the drive thru, letting me know when I'm about to hit something (only he and I know the true meaning of the "follow me" truck), getting out in a blizzard to crank a come-along or dig my truck out of snow when we got stuck, he was always there and always my preferred passenger. Most of the time his driving scared the heck out of me so I preferred to drive. Speaking of him driving, when we were 17 we were invited to an Eagle Scout banquet in Sac. We went to it and had an OK time, he drove to it. On our way back he was pulled over for speeding. Keep in mind that we were still in our scout uniforms, the cop walked up and did a double take. He thought we were playing some kind of joke wearing some kind of costumes. We both told him where we were coming from and even both showed him our Eagle Scout cards. It didn't help, Jeremy still got the speeding ticket.
Jeremy was the best mechanic I've ever known. He can totally rebuild a car, motorcycle, and any other type of vehicle with an engine, and make them really fast too. I always liked going to his house to see what his newest project or progress on one he already had was. He had mechanical talent that is few and far between. Now I have lost my personal Banshee mechanic, that really sucks.
I can keep going on and on but someday we'll sit back and reminisce of the good times we had growing up with your brother in Camino. I wouldn't trade the fun we all had in that neighborhood for anything. Jeremy and I had a lot of good times together. We had some bad times too but no matter what we never stopped being friends. He sure helped me through some rough times and will be eternally grateful for it. I'll miss him and hope he has found the peace he was seeking.
Now Jeremy as I make an end of these memories at today’s proceedings I would like to point out that we have many choices as we leave here this day. We can mourn your passing or we can celebrate your progression and be thankful for the beautiful 35years you shared with your friends and family here on earth. May we each cherish the experiences you have shared with us as we are all better people having lived together. I would like to thank God and you for having shared such a wonderful part of heaven on earth with us and for the opportunity to learn and grow together. May we meet again until then semper fidelis. We love you Jeremy you will be missed.
After the Graveside Memorial, we went back to the Placerville building for the luncheon. Here's all the cousins: