Deep breath. Exhale. Here we go.
My brother Kevin died July 18th 2018.
I hate it. Saying it. Typing it. Thinking about it. Miserable. Awful. Hate.
Happens every time. When I let myself dwell on it, my thoughts come one word at a time. I realize I'm not the only one to go through this. I also know there are even more tragic circumstances that people have endured. But I am tasked with trying to figure out how to deal with it. So far all I got is the fact that it may never get better. But at least it stopped getting worse.
This isn't what it’s gonna be about. I wanted to provide some context so we can move forward. Make no mistake. It is about me trying to get a handle on my new reality. I’m thinking about getting a small music festival together in Library park this summer. With your help maybe we can make it into a big music fest down the road. My brother loved live music shows. Big ones. Small ones. Any time there was a band somewhere he was in.
So, I ran this idea by some friends and family and here’s what we have so far. We picked a Sunday. Not only because it rhymes with Funday but growing up it seemed to be the day of the week where everything slowed down a bit. There will be a variety of beverages not just a single brand. Good food. Good friends. Good music.
Pretty simple. On purpose. With your help, we hope to grow this thing from the ground up. Maybe you have an idea, skill or talent to lend us that will keep the festival unique. We will listen.
Donating your time and helping those who need a hand was one of the tenants of my brother’s life. That’s why we’re doing this. That is the best part. All of the proceeds from this event are going to help people who need it. There are a lot of details to work out. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together.
I’m so proud of Kevin’s kids. They took an impossibly hard situation and handled it with grace and dignity. They showed a maturity level beyond their years. It was never a question whether they would continue their dad’s legacy at the Main Tap. They bravely accepted the challenge of running a business where they had no previous experience. Day by day, week by week they keep figuring it out.
We touch base when we can. They call me from time to time looking for advice. I try my best. I know I’m not their father. They know they are not my brother. But when I give them a hug, for a blink, a click, for the briefest of moments my brother is there. And I guess - I hope - their dad is too.
Proceeds from the Brother Love Festival will go to the Belleville and Oregon School meal programs that provide food during the week and on weekends for kids that need the help and nutrition.