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

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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.

dear jude.

I haven’t written in a while. I regret it. But life gets busy and things have changed.

A few weeks ago you finished your first year of school: kindergarten. There’s no way for me to accurately express how proud Daddy and I are of you. You have changed so much since the beginning of the school year. You’ve grown physically and emotionally and I’m just so PROUD of who you are becoming. You started the school year very nervous and timid and ended with so much confidence. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

Looking back on your kindergarten experience, a few things stick out to me. On the first day of school, Daddy and I walked you to your classroom and you were such a champ. You hung up your bag and started playing. That was it! We waved goodbye and I breathed a sigh of relief. The second day was a different story.

On the second day of school, Lucy and I walked you to the entrance. At that point, you were expected to walk to your room by yourself. In your eyes, this was not part of the deal. You were terrified. I don’t blame you a bit, you had to walk down a hallway, enter another long corridor and walk through four classrooms before reaching your own. That’s scary! So Mrs. Erickson, the guidance counselor, was there and could tell you were struggling. I did my best to convince you to go ahead, but you didn’t. Mrs. Erickson took us into her office and we talked for a minute. You started to cry as I attempted to break away from you. I cried, too. Lucy stared. Eventually, Mrs. Erickson literally had to rip you away from my arms as I made an escape. I walked towards the doors as you yelled repeatedly “Just one more hug!” It was horrific. I went to work that day. I cried a lot as I replayed the mornings events in my head and worried about how you were doing. I got several texts and emails from school telling me that you had recovered fine. What a day!

From that point on, the first few months of school were a struggle. Every morning was hard. Mrs. Erickson walked you to your classroom each morning until finally you were brave and did it all on your own. I was so proud on that day. And from that point on, you continued to grow and change into a confident boy who truly enjoyed school and had tons of friends. I volunteered at lunch a few times a week and was always shocked at how many kids you knew that weren’t even in your class! You were totally yourself with your friends which made me so happy. Ms. DeBeck praised you over and over about how much you had grown and learned.

At the beginning of the school year your class did a poetry project. It was about picking apples with friends. Every student had to draw 5 friends and write their names down on their poem. Ms. DeBeck said that every single student in your class had chosen you as one of their friends.

That is so huge, Jude! I know I tell you this all the time, but being a good friend is so important. I think you’ve got the basics down, that’s for sure. I was able to watch you interact with your classmates a lot and you were definitely loved by everyone. You really bonded with Isaac, the son of a friend of mine from high school. You guys were connected at the hip! You picked a good best friend. Shelley, Isaac’s mom, told me that Isaac couldn’t have chosen a better best friend. I totally agree.

At the end of the school year you had a field trip to the beach. I wanted to go, but also wanted you to try to go without me there, to prove to yourself that you’d be fine! And you were, of course. You bonded so hard with your little friends this year…I knew you’d be fine. You had fun and apparently loves riding on the bus because from that day in you begged me to let you ride the bus…something you hadn’t done and had previously been a scary thought for you. So, the last three days of school you rode the bus in the morning. It helped that Lillie was riding as well, so you guys sat together. You weren’t nervous at all and loved it!

Ms. DeBeck told me one day that she had chosen you to receive an end of the year award. It was the McGraw Paw Award and went to a kid from each kindergarten class who best displayed respect, responsibility, caring, honesty and safety. She said she was so proud of how far you had come since the beginning of the year and what a great little guy you are. You were so deserving of this acknowledgement and I was just overflowing with happiness for you. I went to the assembly when they called your name and recognized your hard work and it was one of the best moments ever.

In other news, you have another little brother or sister coming in December. You are so excited! You often rub my belly and talk to the baby. It is so sweet. You want a boy, of course.

I love you, Jude! I love who you are becoming. We still have our moments, that’s for sure, but I’m so proud of the progress you’ve made as a 6 year old. Biggest year yet!

Mama

dear jude.

dear jude,

you amaze me. honestly and truly…you do. you are SO smart, it blows my mind. you are kind and sensitive. you are a tenderhearted boy and i couldn’t be more proud. you feel your emotions HARD. very hard. and that can be challenging to you and me and everyone around you, but we are figuring that out.

you love to listen and to be listened to. in fact, when you are trying to speak to someone and they aren’t listening, it upsets you. i get that. that’s something that frustrates me as well. when i observe you, i watch to see that others are listening and when they aren’t it annoys me, because you are so worth listening to! you crave a good, thought out response and you deserve it, too.

jude, your mind is like a sponge that never leaks. you soak everything in and lock it away, remembering it all. that can be good and bad, i suppose. i have to be on my toes at all times, mindful of what i say. but i like that about you.

i know it sounds cliche or sappy, but you remind me so much of my dad, your bampy. it’s UNCANNY! many people say so. your memory is on point, just like his. you have a clever way of solving math equations and you memorize bible verses in no time at all. you are tall and wiry with bushy hair. i’m glad you are like bampy. it’s good for the family. i see you in him and that’s special.

jude, you have the most AMAZING eyes! the shape is just gorgeous. you are handsome.

you love to play ninja turtles and star wars. there are two things that you take EVERYWHERE: either your light saber or your ninja turtles gear (mask and sword). your imagination is infinite. you don’t care who is watching and you do your ninja/fighting moves all over the playground. it makes me happy to see you so carefree. sometimes you can be uptight and nervous, but not all the time, and i love that.

i love to laugh with you. in the car yesterday lucy had the biggest scream fest of her entire life. you and i just looked at each other and burst into laughter, which of course made her even more upset, but we couldn’t help it.

you give the best hugs! you’re a huge hugger. and believe me, i will always hug you, no matter what age…i’ll never stop!

you and lucy have become fast friends with the kids next door, luke and lillie. it’s so great having best friends as neighbors! i always wanted that for you, because i had that as a kid and it was awesome. you, lucy, luke and lillie play outside for hours on end and you get along very well. it’s great and makes summer even better for you.

gramma and papa bought a camp in april. we have had a blast there and have gone nearly every weekend since. you love camp. you and lucy play on the dock all day long. we fish, eat, go for boat rides, and explore nature. it’s a little slice of heaven. we all went there on the 4th of july. at night, the men gave us a fireworks show. we had some leftover and you said, “i think we should save the rest for the fall because i start kindergarten in the fall!”

so yeah, you start kindergarten on september 1. i’ve struggled big time, off and on, since you turned 5. kindergarten is a huge step. i’m excited for you. i’m sad, too. its new territory for me. i love you so insanely much, it’s really unreal. but we’ll navigate this world together, our family and jesus, and i have nothing but confidence that you’ll grow to be even more amazing than you are right now.

love,

mama

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dear jude & lucy.

jude & lucy,

you could never possibly know how much i love you. my dad used to always say, “you’ll never know how much i love you until you have kids of your own.” and that is so true. but yet, i still don’t think you’ll understand it because you, jude & lucy, are both just so YOU. you’re perfect, in every way. i mean, not literally perfect. you’re annoying sometimes. you’re loud, you fight, you make a mess, you don’t listen, you drive me nuts. but you are perfectly YOU. you’re just as i’d have you.

i had one of those moments tonight when i just wanted to press a button and freeze time. jude, i found out today that kindergarten registration is next week and that really got me worked up. lucy, you’ll be having your first ever school experience next year and i can’t imagine leaving you with someone other than family. so after dinner i was cleaning up the kitchen, daddy was playing guitar and you guys were dancing and eating candy canes and i just cried. i cried because i don’t want things to change. i cried because there are so many moments that i never want to forget, that moment being one of them. i cried because life is short and fleeting and i know that in the blink of an eye things will be so very different.

jude & lucy, these precious moments are what makes life worth living. i never, ever want to forget how completely perfect the two of you are right this very second…innocent, carefree, confident and safe and loved in the comfort of our home’s walls. i love you way past the moon, beyond mars, and into infinity!

love,

mama

jucy

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