Feb. 25th, 2014

loopychew: (normal)
I felt more than slightly sad yesterday as I read about Harold Ramis' death, and the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I associate him with Jamie.

As with most kids my age, playing Ghostbusters was just as common as running around with a flashlight and claiming Jedi Knighthood. He, LilBro, and I would run around as the original three. Jamie, wearing glasses, would be Egon. I was Peter and LilBro was Ray, but I don't know if there was any real reasoning behind those two choices, but Jamie was always Egon because he wore glasses.

I've got this sneaking suspicion that Jamie held Egon as a role model, someone he could easily identify with. Jamie liked his fun, but he also enjoyed doing things that society at large thought was nerdy--maybe not collecting spores, mold, and fungus, but model building and painting, D&D, etc. Egon was also the genius without whom the Ghostbusters would never be able to actually bust ghosts, and Jamie loved trying to invent things and experiment. It could all be bull--Jamie had one of those old science kits with the transistors and LEDs even before Ghostbusters was a thing--but the idea seems to fit just right.

Years passed. We enjoyed things like Groundhog Day together, and probably any number of Harold Ramis movies--back catalog things like Animal House, cameos in movies like As Good as it Gets (first movie seen in Geneva with my family, though Jamie was still in New Jersey at the time), and such. After he moved to Switzerland and I came back from Wooster, I told my family that we should watch Analyze This. We picked up the DVD and enjoyed it immensely, and it became a brief running gag that everyone in my family would do Robert De Niro's pointy hand gesture and go "You! --You're good!" whenever we were acknowledging one of us being correct about something.

That must have been the summer of 2000, because not that long afterward, the car accident happened.

Most of you know that Jamie died in a car accident. I'm not sure how frequently I mention that my mother was also in that car, and almost literally hung on by a thread; her seatbelt, while keeping her from dying, still caused some serious gastrointestinal injury which never healed 100% but quite close. The same paramedics that pronounced Jamie "expired" at the scene quickly rushed my mother to the Doctor's Medical Center at Modesto which wasn't that far off, where in a miracle of all miracles they apparently specialize in gastrointestinal surgery.

Of the days spent waiting for my mother to recover, of the days we passed in the hospital by her side, one of the first things she did when she was conscious enough to take any action was to do De Niro's pointy hand gesture. She was still in a breathing apparatus and probably wouldn't have had the strength to say anything anyway, but the gesture was enough to tell us she'd be good.

Lastly, while the accident happened at the end of August, we didn't hold the funeral until the end of October (as documented in my very first LiveJournal entry ever). After the funeral was over, after (or before? I really don't remember) the dinner, we all went and watched Bedazzled and had a good laugh, even if it was an otherwise forgettable film.

Harold Ramis and my brother will apparently forever be tied together in my memory, and maybe that's why his death hit me more than I thought it would.

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loopychew

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