Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blue Skies Black Death - A post for my brother

Hey all,

 Today is the day six years ago that I got the worst phone call of my life. Dad called (I was on a first date..can you believe?) and told me to go where I could hear him (I was in a noisy bar/lounge) I went out into the frigid December night. He said "There's been an accident your brother is dead." I made him repeat it, somehow as if him having to say it again, would make it untrue. Time stood still.

My older brother by 3 years was not always pleasant. He had this not so endearing way of finding your soft spot and provoking. That was in his younger years. I worked so hard to feel like he loved me when we were growing up. Perhaps that's typical of older brother/younger sister relationships. But in our twenties it started to feel easier, more natural and that he actually liked me :) The next decade of our lives together was characterized by an abundance of love and appreciation. We eagerly looked to spend time together and enjoyed every moment of it. He traveled a lot and lived in faraway places...and always called, always ended the call with "I love you." I'm incredibly grateful for that.

Much to my dismay in about 2000 he fell in love with skydiving. He became an expert. I mean really. An instructor even. With over 8000 jumps and some injuries I always had a sense of dread about it and was super happy when he decided to go to law school and give up skydiving. My brother was incredibly smart with a sharp and perceptive wit. He excelled in law school and had another year to go.  The jump that proved fatal involved a popular yearly group dive event. There was a collision. My brother pulled his reserve as he spiraled down but he was already too low, his parachute had deflated too much..the jumper who collided into him had a prosthetic leg..which flung off during the hit and landed in my brother's chute..complicating an already perilous decent.

I try to make this day.."just another day" as my little brother says. But it's just not my way. We dedicate a day of celebration to commemorate our birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It seems natural (and unavoidable) to me to focus on the life and loss of someone who was everything to me. Someone who I miss to a bitter fault sometimes, but always always with longing that he was still here with me.

The skydiving community has a saying: Blue Skies Black Death. This is my interpretation of the blue skies marred by a black death. My brother. And then I added the love. Because the final look needed to include how very very loved and missed he is.

 Blue skies. The very gorgeous NOPI Stand by your Manny from the new Modern Family collection. More swatches of this coming soon.
 Zoya Raven


 Zoya Elisa





Thanks for reading everyone. Obviously a very personal post today. Going to go clean and have my family over to tell stories and hug and laugh together about my brother Cliff <3

My brother and I, the last time I saw him. <3





*Some products provided for review. 

58 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing. <3

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  2. Awww! Your post has me in tears! A beautiful manicure and so meaningful, but even without the manicure this would have been a beautiful post. So sorry for your loss x x x

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  3. dear Victoria so sorry for your loss - a very beautiful personal post today - and one of the most wonderful manis ever ....

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  4. These are beautiful nails and a beautiful tribute. I hope you and your family find some strength and cheer in sharing your memories of him today.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute mani and post for your dear brother. I lost my brother 12 years ago ~ it is so tough. Many years ago I purchased a special Christmas ornament as a tribute to my brother ~ a beautiful ornament of ribbon candy that he loved. It broke this year and I cried for the loss of the ornament and my brother. I hope you can smile when you look down at your nails today and cherish his memory.

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  6. This is so lovely, Victoria! I'm so sorry for your loss :(

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  7. I hope you're brother is looking down at you and being really proud of you. I only know you through your blog posts, but I must say he has plenty of reason to be proud of his sister. I hope he's smiling down at you and the rest of the family. I admire you for how you are coping with such a big loss. You seem to have a great family, who supports each other. Stay like that. Be happy. I'm sure your brother is :-) Lots of hugs from Copenhagen!

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  8. So sorry for your loss. Love your tribute..

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss, I would be devastated if I lost my brother as well. We don't speak enough, but siblings are so important even if you don't spend enough time with them.. Thank you for sharing such a personal mani and story with us. Posts like these make me feel more connected to my favorite bloggers. I hope you find happiness reliving memories of your brother today.

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  10. No words Vic, just sadness in my heart for you.

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  11. so sorry about your loss but a lovely idea of a way to pay tribute to your brother. your nails look gorgeous x

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  12. These look gorgeous, what an amazing tribute! You are so strong to be able to carry on!

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  13. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  14. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  15. What a beautiful way to remember him today, it's gorgeous. I hope spending time with your family today gives you some peace and comfort. I am so sorry for your loss. :(

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  16. I am so terribly sorry for your loss - heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  17. Thanks for sharing your love for your brother, I hope today wasn't too painful x

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  18. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for your loss :( This is an awesome manicure and a cool way to remember your brother. So thoughtful:)

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  19. What a lovely way to bring a small amount of light to such a dark loss. Your manicure and your words about you brother are beautiful.

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  20. so perfect - sending you so much love today xx

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  21. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us and your beautiful nails. What a great tribute to such a wonderful brother. ♥

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  22. Beautiful. What an emotional and honest post. Thinking of you xx

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  23. That is a beautiful tribute. ((hugs))

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  24. Oh Victoria, my heart aches for you and your family. Though today is a difficult day, I hope that spending time with loved ones and remembering your dear brother includes love, laughter and great memories.

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  25. I am so sorry for your loss, my darling. This was a beautiful tribute to your brother, whom I am sure is smiling down over you every day.

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  26. This brought tears to my eyes, and I can't imagine what it feels like for you. This is a great tribute for him. Perfect.

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  27. It's hard to keep the tears back because you can feel the love and admiration in your post!! Thinking of you and your family as you remember him today!!

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  28. lovely tribute to your brother and beautiful manicure to go with it!

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  29. Sending prayers for you and all who knew and loved him. Clearly he will be missed and well remembered by all. sincerest condolences.

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  30. Thank you for sharing your brother and your story. It's a brave post and a beautiful tribute in both words and art. ❤

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  31. So sorry for your loss. I know it must be painful every year when this time comes up. Thanks for sharing and showing off a wonderful tribute to him.

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  32. I'm very sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute. I think that he is watching you from heaven and taking care of you!

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  33. I read this story with a very sad feeling, I can't imagine how it is to loose a brother like that. The manicure really reflects on the whole thing and I love those hearts in the center. Thank you for being so open about this and hugs for you and your family!

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  34. So sweet, and with a great mani... So sorry!!!! <3

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  35. I cant imagine what it would be like to lose my brother, he is my best friend. I am very sorry for your loss, what a beautiful tribute

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  36. I too lost my older brother (by 2.5 years) in a car crash eight years ago. Worst day of my life. I named my little boy after him. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him the very moment I wake up. At least now I think of happy times with him, instead of the fact that we lost him too soon. I love your manicure tribute to your brother. It has inspired me to come up with a manicure tribute to my own brother. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing! Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him. I named my boys after my brother too. <3 I'd like to see your mani if you do it, and want to share.

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  37. I can't imagine loosing a sibling... My heart goes out to you and your family today! I love the tribute you have shared with us all! Here is to a happy and healthy New Year!

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  38. So pretty!

    I love your blog and your designs!

    I invite you to mine
    www.todosmisesmaltes.com.ar

    kisses

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  39. I am so very sorry for you loss. I can't imagine losing one of my siblings. Bless your heart. Your tribute looks beautiful! The blue you chose is gorgeous. I must have that blue lol. Happy New Year to you hon.

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  40. By the way...where did you find the NOPI? I have looked online and can't find it. =/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kellie, forgive...too emotional! I forgot to mention in the post that the blue polish was provided for review. It's from the Modern Family NOPI collection due out soon! Also, I didn't even label it correctly. Ugh. I've fixed it. It's: Stand by your Manny. And it is worth picking up, it's beautiful!

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  41. i am sorry about your brother. he sounds like a good person. i have a pretty complicated relationship with my brother, too. we're fraternal twins but sometimes i doubt if we're even related. i love him but it's not always easy. thanks for reminding me to appreciate what we have.

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  42. Every time I read a post about your brother I'm left near tears, I have a brother that moved to the West Coast from the East coast where I am a year and a half ago. that alone breaks my heart. thanks for sharing your story with us!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who commented with kind words and comfort. I read them all and each one helped me get through my day. I would thank you all individually...but then I'd be a sobbing mess again. Again, thanks <3

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  43. What a lovely remembrance post. I'm so sorry for your loss and I hope hearing how much the nail community cares about you helps.

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  44. I'm sorry for your loss.. it always hurts the most when it is unexpected, but he was doing what he loved..! This manicure is the perfect tribute to his memory! Hugs from Panama!!

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  45. I'm so sorry for your loss, your post really shows how much you cared about him.

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  46. Victoria, I, too, lost my brother... 5 years ago and it's still almost as raw now as it was then. As you well know, You never "get over" it, you just learn to live a different life without him. Your tribute to him was beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss. I have to say you have the most gorgeous hands and nails. xoxox

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I read and appreciate each and every comment!! Thank you so much <3