A Bittersweet Week


pete at 3

Here’s Pete at age three. Look at that jacket! Madras was in style.

This week saw the third anniversary of my oldest son Pete’s death from lung cancer and, two days later, my birthday.  Pete was a smoker, so one could say that he should have known better but there’s no way that rationalization can make those of us who loved him feel any better about it.  He is sorely missed.

He was a natural mechanic with an innate understanding of engines.  I didn’t think he needed a car of his own when he turned 16.  After all, he could use my car and we lived within walking distance of school.  I came home one day to find two VW Beetles in the driveway, one of which was given to him and the other one he had bought for a dollar.  Neither of them ran but I watched in awe as he built a functioning car piece by piece from the two old hulks.

“How do you know how to do this?” I asked.

“It’s just logical, Mom,” he said.

Heaven is a better place with you in it, Pete.  I just hope they have machinery for you to tinker with.

Doug and Marjorie wedding 5-26-12 007

Here he is with his wife, Sue, at our middle son’s wedding. He was about six weeks into his chemo at that point and had lost quite a bit of weight.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Robert Lachman said,


    This is so beautifully written and I love the story about the 2 VWs.

    Henrietta >


  2. 3

    Julianne said,

    Hi Kathy. Thank you for sharing your memory. My brother, too, loved to tinker with cars and seemed to ‘know’ them well. Fortunately, he is still in this world. I am sorry for your loss. ‘Knowing better’ does not take away the pain and in the end, is irrelevant to what Pete gave this world by his presence.


  3. 5

    Its sad he passed away so young but beautiful that his memory is so sweet


  4. 6

    Marjorie said,

    . Thanks for sharing some thoughts about Pete with us, Kathy. What a guy…….his spirit will forever be with you and stir wonderful memories.
    Hugs to you!


  5. 8

    Jessica said,

    My heart and good wishes are with you Kathy. Thank you for sharing the great story about Pete’s adventure with the two VWs. I always am in awe of people with those natural skills. It’s such a gift. I’m sure he’s tinkering with some poor broken gizmo and giving it some TLC.

    Big hugs,



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