Sunday, February 21, 2010


Jamie D. Patel.

His middle name is actually D period. A compromise between his mom and dad. His dad's name is Dilip. See Jamie was half Indian. He first told me this and accompanied it with "dot (points to middle of forehead), not feather (gives himself bunny ears)."

He was a regular at the Castillo house for the past ten years or so. The Castillo house gives a warmth and welcome to all that come to it and he came thirsty. He was Alicia's best friend. When Elena would was the first one home in elementary school, he'd come over and watch cartoons with her. Once he spit a watermelon seed at me and it stuck to my forehead. He loved airplanes more than anything. Every fighter plane I get close to, I take a picture of it. For Jamie. He was going to fly.

He made his own path and turned down the air force academy to enlist in the Navy. He knew that's where he wanted to be. He joined the church when he was stationed in Japan. He would video chat with me in my tiny dorm from his tiny apartment. He'd actually write letters back. I still have a USS Kittyhawk hat from him that says "Semper Navy" in black sharpie.

He opened Christmas presents with us. He gave me a book of airplane crosstitch and I made him one. The Corsair. He kept it on his wall forever. He used to trade backrubs and he always thought he owed me one so he made me a card. I found it tucked in a box a few months ago and had it on the end table to show him.

He had the largest cd collection of anyone I've ever met. He gave me the second cd I ever owned, Semisonic. For my birthday. Jamie would always remember my birthday. He'd spend $25 on CD's in Japan and love getting a new one and finding out it was rotten. He liked to savor the experience of the discovery, even if it meant discovering a terrible band. I asked him to make me a mix of some of his favorite punk songs. It took three cd's. That's all we listened to on one of his trips to visit me in Flagstaff.
We ice skated and stored our orange juice outside in the snowbank, only to find someone drank half of it when we came back. We went on top of the snowdome. As in "wow, I never knew I had issues with heights so I'm just going to hug the lightening rod" on top. He thought the frost on it made it seem like ice skating and ran across the top even though there was no guard against death. He went back and paid for the unattended dipping dots we ate. We did flips onto the high jump mat.

He spent hours making model airplanes with my dad. They even went to rock concerts together, where Jamie was let through and my dad got carded. I had to move into my first apartment by myself because my family took him to the MTC.

After serving honorably in the Navy, he served the Lord honorably in Korea. He was gross and loved a good fart or poop story. Apparently on his mission he once saved his toe nails in a bottle and called it death water. He wrote this on the wall of my craft room and it makes me laugh still.

He played Halo with me for five hours when I had my wisdom teeth out. He kicked my trash. We played mariokart Wii with his future wife in her classroom at midnight. I kicked his trash.

We went to a pirate cafe and then got pie in the wee hours of the morning. We sang along to Weezer in what he said was the best concert of his life and ate funnel cakes to make the night perfection.

He was in our family portraits.

He was my brother.

He died in a motorcycle crash the morning February 11th. I texted him that afternoon about visiting that weekend. He never texted back.

I've never had to tell others about someone's death before. I've never been the one people asked for funeral plans. I've never had to let go of the future. Our kids were going to play together. I've never had to force myself to walk into a viewing even though I wanted to throw up. I've never needed closure from a funeral.

He was married only 8 months. At the viewing his wife asked if she was still a Castillo. She always will be one because

Jamie will always be a Castillo.


jeanene said...

Thank you for sharing your memories of Jamie. I love you. Mom

Katie said...

He sounds wonderful. I am so sad and sorry for your loss.

Michelle N Lurvey said...

Thank you for writting this, I served with Jamie in Korea, and Angela Thompson, sent me a link to this. Jamie will be missed.

amber said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. I hope you and your family are doing well. He sounds like a wonderful person!

Erin said...

Oh that is so terrible. What a beautifully written way to remember him. It's especially hard when you thought you had so much of a future to look forward to. I am so sorry.

Camille said...


Jackijo said...

I am crying right now for you. The memories you shared were wonderful and sweet. So sorry.

Jocelyn said...

Sending you a hug. This may be the most beautiful blog post I have ever read.

ACW said...

Oh Sister- it's so hard, isn't it? You make me miss him even more when I read these things and I really miss him.

That was a eulogy all its own. My biggest comfort was that he will live on in us. Let's buy horses in Mongolia. Love you.

Lena said...

Perfect. That was perfect. I love you. And you are invited to my jello pool party whenever it will be.

Jessie said...

This is beautiful. I love him.

Candygirl said...

G... this was an amazing entry... I am sitting here thinking about the first time I met Jamie. He was and is amazing. Then I met him again with Alicia, what an amazing night of great food and laughs that was. I even remember when I met with Jamie after his mission, of course at Casa de Castillo. I feel so blessed to have known Jamie and your wonderful family. Love Candice x

Rachel said...

What a great post! I am so so sorry. I had no idea who it was or what the connection was. I am glad you posted so I can know a little about this great brother of yours! I hope and wish all the best for his new wife...I am sure you and your family will be the comfort she needs! Take time off and grieve if you need. We will always be here waiting!

Camille Elise said...

You always leave wonderful comments that make me feel worth while. Thank you so much for being my post-high school blogger friend! Hope all is well. :)

Merkley Jiating said...

I know "Sorry" doesn't help but I hope you know that we are thinking of you. I never knew Jamie, but reading about how much you love him makes me love him.

Anonymous said...

Oh Geneva this breaks my heart!! Jamie is one good lookin' fella and it sounds like his personality was even better! Love you and am praying for you and especially for his wife!


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