Category Archives: the lowdown.

my grampy.

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Charles E. Brewster, 91, passed away peacefully at a local healthcare facility on August 5, 2013 and is now in the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was born on March 2, 1922 in Dedham, son of George Walter Brewster and Maude Goodwin Brewster.

Charles attended Dedham schools and graduated from Higgins Classical Institute in 1941. He attended Husson University before joining the U.S. Coast Guard, with whom he served during World War II. Charles worked for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad for 9 years, followed by a career at the Great Northern Paper Company for 22 years until he retired in 1987. He was a longtime member of Dedham Congregational Church and was most recently a regular attendee of Bangor Baptist Church. He was a gardening and flower enthusiast and also enjoyed regular hunting trips, attending church suppers and other community events, and followed local sports teams; especially those involving his son and granddaughters.

Charles was survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Shirley Farrington Brewster of Brewer, his daughter-in-law Terri Dunbar Brewster of Hamdpen, his granddaughter Megan and her husband Nick Cornwell and their children Bella Grace and Emmy Faith of Brewer, his granddaughter Gretchen and her husband Brian Keezer and their children Jude Farrington and Lucy Mae of Hampden, sister-in-law Eleanor Smith Farrington, five special nieces and nephews and longtime close friends Peter and Lorraine Moir of Bangor. Charles was predeceased his sister Alice Brewster Barbour, brother-in-law Bernard Farrington, and by his only child, Gary W. Brewster and is now reunited with him again in the presence of their Savior.

Friends and family are welcome to call from 1-2 Thursday, August 8 at Brookings-Smith Funeral Home, 133 Center St. in Bangor. A memorial service will immediately follow at 2 pm at the same location.

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my grandfather was the coolest grandfather around. next to my Dad, he was the most important man in my life for all of my younger years. he was always there to make me laugh or to spoil me rotten. he was reliable. he was easy going. his presence was comforting and his company was often. he was my grampy.

my grampy was awesome. he had candy hidden in the glove box of his car; orange slices and tootsie rolls were my favorite. he wore cologne and colorful sweaters. grampy rode with me on my first roller coaster…i think he was 70. not much phased him, for the most part. he was one of the most unintentionally funny people i’ve ever known.

grampy practiced grace and humility when dealing with his granddaughters crazy antics. as little girls, megan and i loved spending the night at our grandparents house. one time, we had the bright idea of throwing a “surprise party” at two in the morning. we stayed up late making banners, confetti, party hats and streamers. we set our alarm for two a.m., crawled into their bedroom, and woke them up with screams in their ears and fistfulls of confetti on their heads. my grandfather smiled, put on his paper hat, and joined in on the party.

grammy and grampy used to take us on rides around town. megan and i would wear our pajamas and whisper in the back seat, hoping they’d stop to get us ice cream. the route always involved drummond hill, a few streets over from the standpipe. grampy would drive up slowly and let the car roll back every now and then, pretending that the brakes were giving out. we loved it. then we’d turn around and drive down the hill. as little girls, we thought it was quite a joy ride.

grampy was a stickler for traditions. thanksgiving was not complete without a basket of mixed nuts in their shells. christmas was the same every year: the decorations, the food, the schedule of events. that’s how he liked it. and although he claimed to never age, his birthday was probably his favorite day of the year.

my grandfather has been a constant source of joy in my life. he helped to make me who i am today. he passed on an affection for nature, a sense of adventure, and a love for traditions. he showed me that family comes first and friends make life exciting. grampy was a real example of devotion and loyalty. he served his country bravely and was proud to be a Brewster. He enjoyed 56 years with his beautiful bride and together they raised one of the world’s greatest men; my dad.

grampy, your days were full and your memory will always be vibrant. i love you and i’ll see you soon.

jude! 027

a time of need.

there’s a proverb that i particularly like. it has made a lot of sense to me lately. its chapter 17 verse 17. it says, “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” another translation reads, “a friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in the time of need.”

the lesson of loyalty is one of the best things my dad taught me. he lived out loyalty daily. he stuck up for his friends. he did the right thing. he was no nonsense when it came to his family and his loved ones. you crossed one of them and you crossed him. he was old school. he paid no attention to this “i want to please everyone and be nice all the time” crap. if someone treats another person wrongly, you stick up for them. you call each other out, you do what is right. he was a brother in times of adversity. if you were a friend of my dad’s you knew wholeheartedly that he would have your back, no questions asked.

that’s the kind of friend i want to have.

and thankfully, i have a few of these friends. they have stuck by me during tough times. they pray for me. they encourage me. they challenge me to be better. these people get upset when their friends are mistreated and they are willing to stand up for what is right. no matter what. they don’t consider sitting back and doing nothing. they are friends born for a time of adversity.

that’s the kind of friend i want to be.

when i was young, i had a friend with down’s syndrome. i grew up with her and our families went to the same church. i considered her a friend, even though she was very different from me. during recess one day, a mean girl in school was making fun of this friend. she was calling her names and yelling at her; the regular mean girl routine. i went up to this chick and told her to stop making fun of my friend. the mean girl looked at me, paused, and spit a huge, gross, slimy wad of saliva in my face. right in my face. i was shocked. but i wiped it off, told her not to talk to me or my friend that way again, and walked away.

i’m thankful to have grown up in a family that passed on the value of loyalty. there are times when i may take it too far and am loyal to a fault, but i don’t care. i’d rather have a friend like that than a wiggly, no spine, piece of spaghetti friend who sits back and lets people do whatever the hell they want.

loyalty is often lost. that needs to change. forget about consequences and hurting feelings and losing your job when it comes to being loyal. just do it. life sucks sometimes. bad things happen, people choose wrong over right, and selfishness wins many battles. so let’s find loyalty and embrace it. hands down. the right thing will always be the better choice. it most often is not the easiest, but it is the best.

we were all born for a time of need. its what you choose to do during that time that matters.

the lowdown: yolo.

jude and lucy,

we have a saying around our house. in fact, we like to chant it. “YOLO, YOLO, YOLO!”

now, its obviously kind of a joke. but it’s so true, too. life is short. even if we all live to be 80, which i hope happens, those 80 years on this earth will fly by at an unusual speed. so make the most of every day. don’t take advantage of the time you’ve been given because you only life once.

this is one of the huge life lessons i’ve learned over the last few years. i think its hit me hard for a few reasons. the first being the fact that we lost bampy and dj. when someone close to you dies, especially at a young age, it reminds you of how short life truly is. it teaches you the importance of making your days count because you never know what tomorrow will bring. losing dad and dj also reminded me to make memories with the people you love. laugh, cry, and say how you feel because they may not be there to hear it tomorrow. going through death and grief is a huge learning experience. you gain wisdom through the negatives and the positives of the circumstance. either way, i guess i’m thankful for that wisdom.

the second reason i’ve adopted the “yolo” mentality and want to pass it on to you is because of YOU. being a parent has changed me, big time. my capacity to love has grown bigger then i ever thought possible. its a different love that i have for my parents or for your dad. you are a part of me. a mom’s love for her children is so vast. its even different than daddy’s love for you. no bigger or greater, just different. these feelings i have for you makes me want to take advantage of every, single second (not that i always do and some days i feel like dropping you off at the zoo…let’s be honest…but i’m generalizing). daddy and i want to create an awesome, exciting life for you that is full of memories and fun times because we want to make the most of our time with you.

when i was in high school, bampy used to keep a tally of how many saturdays he had left with me before i went to college. during the week i was in school and he was at work and on sunday we went to church, but saturdays were usually wide open. he wanted to make use of these saturdays with me because they were numbered. soon i would be living somewhere else, working, studying, and not being around. so he utilized the time he had and let me tell you, i’m thankful for that, especially now that he’s gone.

not many things in life are certain. but a few things are for sure: jesus saves, love never fails, family comes first, relationships matter and you only live once. make it count, jude and lucy. be wise with your money. make good use of your time. explore, create, love big and live every day to its fullest.

“if i live the life i’m given, i won’t be scared to die.”

the lowdown: priorities.

“when you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? will you find comfort in re-reading your financial statement? of course not. what will matter then will be people. if relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?”

jude and lucy, there are so many things that i want you to hold on to. health, hope, work ethic, intelligence and faith. but aside from jesus christ, the most important thing in this life is PEOPLE.

i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again: my dad used to always say “life is about relationships.” he lived his life with a list of priorities and he taught me to do the same. i fail sometimes, mostly at the first priority, but i hold this list close and remember the importance of living by it.

first on the list is your faith in christ. i can’t explain to you how crucial this is to living and living well. sure, i have had my doubts. but my experience tells me that god is with me. he cares about me and he will help me through the shit that life brings. he doesn’t keep bad things from happening but he guides me and loves me consistently. he is my hope and my savior.

next comes family. family is for life, kids. sometimes your family will be the only people there for you at certain times in your life. they understand you, they sympathize with you, they get it. you will share more memories with your family than with anyone else and these relationships will always be number one. from mom and dad, to your brother/sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and someday your own spouse. these people are your frontline. invest in them.

and third on the list of priorities in life is friends. you will find people in life who have your back no matter what. these are the people you need to grasp on to and never let go of. you’ll have other people who call themselves a friend but truly are not. these wet noodle friends are not loyal and will not stand up for you when crunch time comes. brush these people out of your life. they are not worth your time. instead, spend your time on those relationships that walk with you during the ups and downs. these types of friends will be few and far between, but having a few of these people is better than having a million of the squishy type.

so remember your priorities. times will come when you consider other things to be important; looks, clothes, grades, money, houses and cars. but i’ve seen it with my own eyes and i know this to be true: in the end, its faith and people that matter most.

the lowdown: he will watch over you.

jude and lucy,

when i was younger, i went through a phase of being afraid. i remember going to bed at night and laying still, kept awake by fear. i knew i was safe and that my parents were right down the hall, but this fear had a hold on me. i remember being scared of different things: nightmares, fires, or something bad happening. during that time in my life, as a little girl, my mind was gripped by fear.

i was having trouble sleeping at night. scary thoughts filled my head. i remember my parents praying with me, asking god to take away my fear. my dad shared a verse from psalms that made perfect sense to me as a child. “the lord will command his angels concerning you to guard you wherever you go.” i think of that verse often and how, as a child, it took away all of my fear.

my adult life has taught me to be fearful. i learned that bad things happen…and sometimes they happen again…and again. i have struggled with fear the last few years. fears of losing people that i love, fears of accidents, financial hardships, and trusting others. but no matter how much i want to give in to these fears, i have seen evidence of the fact that god is with me. and despite the negatives in life, god finds ways to show that he is near and that he can bring good from the bad.

we had a situation with our house on briarwood drive. we thought we had sold it when the plans suddenly fell through. it was heartbreaking. we wondered why this was happening and we were beyond discouraged. after meeting with a realtor, we felt like we were in the midst of a hopeless circumstance.

we continued to pursue selling. we were talking with my mom one night about she and dad when they sold their first house. they listed it themselves and within 7 days an offer was made. i said to mom and brian, “wouldn’t that be cool if that happened to us?”

and it did.

a co-worker of kate’s looked at our house one night with her parents. a couple hours after leaving, she called and made an offer. this was 7 days after putting it for sale ourselves.

i remember waking up the next morning and opening my bible. i opened to a letter from my dad that i had saved from a few years back.  he had written these words, “he is forever faithful. he will watch over you.”

my fears as an adult are very different than my fears as a little girl. but the simple truth remains: the lord will command his angels concerning you to guard you wherever you go. he is forever faithful. he will watch over you.

 

 

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