Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 14, 2012

Her brother found a home here, and now she understands why

My brother, Kurt, died on Sept. 1, and his memorial was held recently at an art gallery in Cumberland. Kurt lived in Frostburg for the last seven years.

I had never been to the area until I found myself sitting with him at the hospital. We grew up in New Jersey, and I could not understand why he chose a place so far from the ocean. Then one by one each of his friends came in the room to sit with him, and I realized Kurt had found his home.

My brother and I share a painful childhood history that has always made finding a home a difficult prospect. But Kurt lived in a world where people are generous of heart.

While I have found good people most places, I have never found so many in one region.

Part of me felt like an outsider, as these folks knew my brother much more deeply as an adult than I ever would and yet they taught me about him through their love.

There I sat as Kurt’s little sister, experiencing what he must have felt seven years ago when he moved to Frostburg. A sense of awe and fear. A world completely different from the one we knew as children.

There were probably many mornings when Kurt woke up thinking it was all a dream.

Each person who entered that hospital room embraced me. Each person we visited or who came to the memorial embraced me and my son, Sam.

Kurt lived in a world of artists and cyclists. People who challenge themselves and the world to be better with a gentle peace and not angry tones. So many unique voices who inspired me to want more in this life.

I have always been the fighter with the loud voice trying to get others to change. Acceptance has never been my strong suit.

Yet I now feel like I have a chance to live a more meaningful and peaceful life because of being touched by those who call the Frostburg area their home.

As we were driving back home to Philadelphia, Sam turned to me and asked when we would be moving to Frostburg.

Lee Detwiler

Jenkintown, Pa.

 

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