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Doug Andrews


"Ever The Same" by Rob Thomas
We were drawn from the weeds
We were brave like soldiers
Falling down under the pale moonlight
You were holding to me
Like a someone broken
And I couldn't tell you but I'm telling you now
Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down
Fall on me
Tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you forever in me
Ever the same
We would stand in the wind
We were free like water
Flowing down
Under the warmth of the sun
Now it's cold and we're scared
And we've both been shaken
Hey, look at us
Man, this doesn't need to be the end
Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down
Fall on me
Tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same
Call on me
I'll be there for you and you'll be there for me
Forever it's you
Forever in me
Ever the same
You may need me there
To carry all your weight
But you're no burden I assure
You tide me over
With a warmth I'll not forget
But I can only give you love
Fall on me
Tell me everything you want me to be
Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same
Call on me
I'll be there for you and you'll be there for me
Forever it's you
Forever in me
Ever the same
Forever with you
Forever in me
Ever the same
I heard this song on the radio on the way home from Rufus, after dropping Kate off to Denise. It made me think of Doug, how things used to be, how I wished they could be, and for the first time, the tears fell freely. When I heard that Doug had died, that he had killed himself, I was numb. Zach was in the hospital, I couldn't cope. I called some friends, talked to Pete and some of the Betas.  Hearing Erik's voice, I allowed a little of the feeling in, and cried. But then I put it back in a box, unable to confront what Doug's death would mean to me. I spent an hour on the phone with his mom, Sharon, talking, remembering, crying a little, wishing I could offer some kind of comfort to her, to myself. And then I spent the last weeks in that numbness, that relief, that denial. Hearing that song, the walls inside crumbled...and so did I. I called Evy, and she talked me almost all the way home, helping me think, helping me feel, helping me through.

I remember the first night I met Doug. In the Cellar at UPS, there was music playing, people were dancing. Doug asked me to dance, so we went to the floor. It was some rock-n-roll 80's tune, and we tried to talk while we danced. He leaned his head into me and said, "Do you like my perm? You can be the first girl to touch my new curls." So I tousled his hair, and he threw his head back and laughed. I was captivated. He was funny, handsome, and had this edge, just enough to make him seem a bit dangerous, but not scary.

The music changed to Joan Jett's version of Crimson and Clover, and Doug pulled me to him. It is a moment that's burned into my memory forever. If I close my eyes, I'm right there, the dance floor hot, humid, the music pulsing in my ears, the beat pounding in my throat. ...crimson and clover, over and over...I remember how Doug smelled, like cinnamon and smoke, but clean like the outdoors, like mountains and rivers. One of my high school boyfriends smelled faintly of bandaids and antiseptic, the other of axle grease, and I had this thought....this, THIS is how a man smells. Everything around was hot, but Doug was cool, fresh, bracing, like the wind. His chest and arms were hard, muscular and I literally gasped for breath. Over the years, I would hug Doug many times, and the experience was always the same, like jumping into an icy stream or facing into an ocean breeze, it was strong, cleansing, electric. Like the air surrounding him had more oxygen than usual, being in his presence was intoxicating.


Was I a little in love with Doug? Dave and I talked about that...I said, "No, I love Doug, but I wasn't in love with him." Dave said, "Yes, you were, you are. So am I. You can't help but fall in love with Doug. He makes you believe the impossible. Falling in love with him is easy. Loving him can be hard." And Dave was right, as usual. Doug could be infuriating, drive you crazy, but the way he made you feel, you never got over that.

Doug never simply entered a room, he burst in, excited about whatever new plan or idea he was working on. Within minutes, he would capture the imaginations of everyone listening. Doug moved at warp speed, all the time. When you were near him, it fairly crackled with electricity and you'd find yourself swept up into his whirlwind. I can't tell you the number of times Doug would fly into our house in the middle of the night, with some thought, song, poem he had to share. Freudian Delight was one of those middle of the night moments.
Doug's intelligence was formidable, awesome. He was in short brilliant. Dave used to smile and shake his head saying, "I don't know why I argue with him, I'll never win." Doug's mind moved lightening fast, too. The only force in the world I ever saw that was equal to Doug's intellect was his will. I used to believe that Doug could create things by simply thinking them into reality. He was determined, dogged, persistent, unrelenting. Admitting defeat was excruciating for Doug. He could achieve anything he put his mind to, anything.

Are you getting the picture that Doug was intense? Dave and Doug were born two days apart. They often called themselves twin sons of different mothers. They were alike in many ways, playful, caring, fun, determined, intelligent. The two of them reminded me of puppies. I can remember people at the Twilight Zone house saying, "Everything's a game to you two." They could make a game out of anything. They'd often sit at opposite ends of a long table, each with a typewriter (yes, we're that old!) and a glass of water, practicing shooting beer caps into the water as they worked on papers, baseball caps on backwards. Sometimes Doug would say, "Hey, are we even going to remember this paper in 10 years?? " And off they'd run, to do something like play nerf hoops or listen to Pink Floyd. I never knew nerf hoops could be so deadly serious. Somehow they were both still honor students...well, except for the year Dave was busy with The Currents, but that's another story!

I was pretty intense myself. Those of you that know me now, know that I'm fast-paced and pretty driven much of the time, and that when I put my mind to something, I am pretty unrelenting. Let me say this...I've mellowed considerably with age. While I was never in Doug's league by any stretch of the imagination, there was a similarity there. When Doug and I used to interrupt each other to say the same thing, Doug would slap his knee and declare that Dave had finally found his female Doug...all he needed now was to find his female Dave and we'd all live happily ever after. Dave used to kid us about that first night that Doug and I spent together dancing and later playing backgammon in their dorm room. He'd say, "It never would have worked, you and Doug are too much alike!"

And although Dave and Doug were alike in many ways, in other ways, they were opposites. Dave was open, trusting, warm, ready to believe the best. Doug had a wry sense of humor that often showed his cynical side. Dave's feelings were always near the surface and he never held back. Doug felt things deeply, but only shared those feelings with an honored few, he was more protected, sometimes guarded, defended. Dave was more grounded, more willing to forgive, more willing to compromise. Doug was loyal to his principles, determined to never give up. Dave was peaceful, content, happy at heart. Doug was a searcher, always on a quest, looking for answers, ready to fight the next battle. Dave was an anchor, a safe haven, for me, for Doug. Hugging Dave was like coming home, like being wrapped in warmth from the sun, healing, making you feel safe, whole. In Doug's presence, you believed that your dreams were possible. In Dave's, you knew that they had already come true.

When Dave and I decided to get married, we were the first of our friends, and we hadn't been dating all that long. I think many thought we were nuts, but Doug was the only one to come out and say it. "I love you guys, both of you...but MARRIED???" Doug would pace the living room, scratching his head. He really wasn't sure about this. He turned to me and held me by the shoulders, looking into my eyes. "You realize this is a package deal, don't you Shelley?" A package deal? "Two for the price of one," he said. "We're family." And we were. A trio now. So many ways it shouldn't have worked, but it did. The bride, the groom and the best man.

Doug was a friend who brought fun, laughter, excitement, edge. But he was also a friend who held fast in the hard times. He was loyal, honest and true, and Doug could slow down, did slow down, to recognize things that were important. He would often come for dinner, and we'd settle down in the living room afterwards to talk. I can remember leaning on Dave, listening to Doug talk, closing my eyes and hearing the sound of his voice, as he shared his thoughts and beliefs about this roller-coaster we call life...how it was, how it ought to be, what it means. I'd often drift off to sleep, only to wake in the morning, the sun shining in through the window, Dave and Doug's conversation still going. I have a picture in my mind, so clear, of making coffee, handing a mug to Doug, watching him lean in toward Dave, his eyes watching intently, nodding his head, illustrating his points with wide sweeps of his arms. And Dave, relaxed, leaning into the couch, no coffee for him, smiling, listening, eyes sleepy, nodding his head, too. Those moments illustrated the two of them...they were like mirror images...some things so much the same, you'd have to do a double-take, and some things, exact opposite.

Those early days were happy days. Doug was in law school, Dave and I were newly married. We had the world by the tail, our futures lay fanned out in front of us, roads to be travelled, adventures to be had. Doug finished law school, Dave and I had Kyle Douglas, named for Doug, who relished his part as Godfather. Doug came to our house every day, to hold Kyle, to talk to him, to tell him stories, to make plans. He'd rock Kyle in his arms and tell him about golf and basketball and girls and music.

Then Kyle died, and for Dave and I, everything changed. Everything. Doug was one of the many (Peter, Cheryl, Mark, Tina, Denise, Bobby, Erik, Evy) who reminded us that love doesn't change. Doug wrote us a poem called The 25th Day it reads in part, "For 25 days, the sun shone brightly and love surrounded your world...Remember, after the 25th day, the sun still shines and love still surrounds your world." In his own words, Doug tells us that the love is never lost. After all that's happened, the love we share remains. No matter what we lose on this earth, the love is never lost.

In looking for that poem, I found a half-written, rough draft of a song that Dave had been writing for Doug a long time ago. You see, Erik Haroldson had written a song for Dave entitled Don't You Know That I Hear. That song touched a place deep in Dave's heart and he treasured it so, not only for the love it speaks of, but for the idea, for the knowledge that someone cared enough to listen, to really hear...hear his music, his thoughts, his hopes, his pain. This song was Dave, extending that love to Doug. If you know Erik's song, you will hear the echoes of that song in this one, in the lines about laughter and tears.

I Will Hear You

You know they often say that life ain't fair,
But I know that there's one man in your life who cares,
And if you'd like to free your mind from anger and despair,
Just remember me, my friend, when you need me there.
'Cause I will bring you laughter
And I will wipe your tears
And I will do my damndest to melt away
The damage of those years...just call me
You know they often say love ain't what it's supposed to be,
But I know there's Someone out there that'll love you as much as me,
And if you need to free your heart, so you can see
Please remember me...I will hear you.
(c) 1988 Dave Meyer
During his years practicing law in Hawaii, Doug broke his neck surfing. This would have been the early 90's. While he was fortunate to have no paralysis, he struggled with severe, constant pain since then. In the last 15 years, Dave would search diligently for Doug, and in the first part of those years, was able to find him. Doug would always say, "I'm getting it back, I'm finding the Old Doug." And Dave would say, "I'll take any Doug." Doug became harder and harder to find, and eventually, we only had Doug's mom as a link. Every year, Dave would say, "Did you send a Christmas card to Sharon?" And I'd say, "Yes, dear." And he'd say, "Good, then Doug will know how to find me." Doug was the ship, sailing stormy seas, Dave was the lighthouse, sending out signals, showing him where home was.

I'll never know why Doug chose not to come home to all of us here, his family, his friends. I do know that he spent a lot of time with his family, his mom, his sisters and brother, his nieces and nephews in the weeks before he died. Doug had a fierce love for his family, his caring for them was of the utmost importance to him. I do know he never lost that.
But somewhere, Doug did get lost, and none of us could bring him home. He fought against demons that I cannot understand. I cannot fathom why Doug would choose to die rather than find us. I do know that he KNEW without a doubt, deep in his soul, that if he had asked for us, we would have been there. It hurts that he didn't reach out.
Many people have asked about my feelings about where Doug chose to die. He brought a stuffed animal to Kyle's grave-site on the Sunday before Memorial Day and killed himself there. My understanding is that he spent much of the days/weeks prior to that at the grave. He has apparently been going there regularly for years. When Dave died, we could not find Doug, so he only found out a short time ago. Sharon said something on the phone that made sense to me. She said that she believed that Kyle represented to Doug the last time that his life was whole, that he felt truly happy and at peace, and that through his final act, he was reaching out to that time, trying to get back there. I understand that Doug left a note, but I do not know what it says. I don't know if it holds any answers. I don't know if there are answers to these kinds of questions.
I do know that this is the last thing Dave would have wanted. The irony is so awful. Dave, who fought so hard to live, who battled with all that he had to stay here. Doug, letting it all slip away. Dave's death was not the reason for Doug's suicide, but I know that it was a factor. I know how hard it is to face a world without Dave in it, when he was my safe haven, my reason for being able to believe in anything. I know Doug felt the same about Dave. It's fitting that there is a giant rock in memory of Dave at WaHi, he was solid, real, a rock. I wish I had tried harder, more diligently to find Doug when Dave was failing, so they could have had a final good-bye. I wish I'd tried harder to find him when Dave died, so he could have been with us, with the Beta brothers. I wish he'd been a part of it all, not alone. I struggle with that. There are lots of excuses, I was tired, in shock, a mess, not thinking clearly, dealing with my grief and my children's grief. All of that is true. But I wish I had done more. I should have. To be really honest with myself, it crossed my mind more than once at the time. I was able to find others who had been out of touch. Doug had made it fairly clear that he didn't want to be found, but I do know that I could have done more. I should have. It may not have changed a damn thing, but it might have changed how I feel now. And now, the only one left who can forgive me, is me. I'm working on it.
I'm left with pictures in my mind:
Doug dancing to Freudian Delight at the Attic, shouting, "I wrote that!" pointing to himself.

(Couldn't find a pic of Doug from this night, but here are some Currents groupies.)
Doug, taking a picture of me on a lawn chair, in a floppy fishing hat, holding a puppy, and framing it for Dave.

Doug, taking a picture of his bare nekked behind with a note "Hi Michelle!" tucked in his trouser drawers, when he and Rennie were on vacation.
Doug, baking me a cake...two round layers with frosting...all on his own for my birthday. The top of the cake said: HAPPY and then there were these little squiggles...turned out they were the top 1/4 of each of the letters of CENTURY. HAPPY QUARTER OF A CENTURY...get it?
Doug and I, walking to his dorm room after dancing at the Cellar the first night we met, arms around each other, our breath making clouds in the cool night air, him wearing his Levi jacket...remember those? Him putting the big D on the door..."What's that for?" "Oh, just so my roommate doesn't interrupt us." Sitting on the floor, playing backgammon, listening to one of Doug's "mash tapes"...songs by Styx, Dan Hill, Bread, Player, the BeeGees and even Air Supply...the room heavy with innuendo. Dave comes barging in, guitar on his back, hawaiian shirt, bandana around his head, cowboy boots on. "WHAT are you doing?" Me: "Playing backgammon." Dave to Doug, "BACKGAMMON??? The D is out! What is the D out for??" Doug, walking me home, trying to evade what the D really meant.

Doug, hugging me as I'm crying at the wedding rehearsal. "It's okay, Shelley. It's okay." Baffled, not having a clue as to why I was crying, but wanting to make it better, holding me tight, patting my back, looking over my shoulder to Dave with a look that said, "HELP!"
Doug, after we told him we were getting married, after he agreed to be the best man, taking me aside, tears in his eyes, "You won't hurt him will you? I couldn't stand it if you hurt him."
Doug, at our door at 3 am, bleeding, crying, soaking wet in the rain, after he discovered that Rennie was NOT the female Dave, and he put his fist through a window. Wet, bloodshot eyes pleading with me, Dave and I holding him all night, huddling together against the storm that raged, not outside our door, but inside Doug's heart.

Doug dancing at Tina's wedding (maybe it was Geri's wedding, but I remember Tina there) with Denise, smiling and laughing.

Doug golfing with Dave and me, calling me Muffy Mulligan and asking if he could wear my pink golf gloves, prancing across the course, swaying his hips and calling "Chi Chi...Fuzzy's right over here...." in a high, girly voice.
Doug and Dave in Disneyland. Running through the streets like kids, wearing Goofy hats, hugging the characters, eating cotton candy, and riding every single ride, shrieking in delight, huge grins plastered on their faces.

Losing arguments with him. Every time.
Doug studying his law books on our back lawn as Dave grilled steaks. His eyes lighting up with some idea...."Hey guys, what do you think of this?"

Saying to him, "Well, when I've known Dave as long as you have..." And Doug saying, "You realize that will never happen, don't you?"
Doug in a convertible, racing down the streets in California, dozens of miles an hour over the speed limit, trying to follow him, his arms waving out the roof, singing "I LOVE L.A.!" (remember that song?) at the top of his voice. Remember his DA LAW license plate?

Calling Dave Lloyd B. Hosemeyer. Calling himself Lenny. Calling Wayne Juan-yay.
How he left notes everywhere and signed them "Forever Yours."

God, I miss him, it seems as if I've been missing him forever.
Love, Shelley

Comments

  1. I'm speechless ChelleBelle. Some day, all of this will make sense, some day. Until then, we can only ponder, and wonder, and wish, and second guess, and cry and sigh, and wonder why.

    I'm sorry my friend. I'm sorry for all the pain that has poured down on you, pounding you. It seems unrelenting, never ending. But amongst the pain is the good...all of us..with you, holding you close..until the pain is gone. Love you dear friend.
    Cathy B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Michelle I am so sorry for how you feel. Your right no one can do anything for you only you. But you know we want to. I asked some of the same questions when I was in that situation and was told many many times I could not have changed things. But I feel I could have or maybe I wanted to be able to. To prevent the hurt so many felt.
    Reading through tears what you wrote about Doug I have a happy feeling seeing Dave, Doug and Kyle laughing and running doing the things you wrote about the two of them doing. Reading how Doug loved Kyle I can see them all so happy.
    It always amazes me how you write it is wonderful. So glad you can share your feelings with us. Just wish there was something we could do.
    You know we are all here for you, to listen to love to care.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chelle
    Wow, that post was heartwarming, heartwrenching and filled with love. I feel like I know Doug now and have a glimpse of your little Kyle. My heart goes out to you as you struggle through another valley. Sometimes we have to wonder how many valleys must there be . . . .I wish we could heal you but I think your right you have to heal yourself at your pace. Life will never be the same. I hope it helps to know people care and people pray for you. I'm glad you have friends to call, friends to hug, friends to share with and friends who love and pray for you. I am honored to be a prayer partner with you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shel - Glad you finally have some breathing room to process Doug's death. You wrote so beautifully of you & Dave & Doug's relationship, I almost feel like I know him. Having him absent but "out there somewhere" was so much better than the way it is now. I'm sorry.

    Love, -Deb

    ReplyDelete
  5. Michelle, your words are difficult to read but you describe Doug's life and personality so perfectly. We all wish we could have reached out to Doug and helped him find his way back to us. Looking at the pictures and the stories takes me back to Doug's happier days. Before all the physical & emotional pain invaded his body & soul. I grieve for my brother everyday, but your words brought me comfort as we pray for the strength to heal. My hope is that Doug is in a place where he is happy once again and realizes how many people loved him. Thanks for helping to keep his memory alive. Much love- Teresa

    ReplyDelete

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