Monday, December 16, 2013

Words of Rememberance

Many have asked for the beautiful words that Pete's brother and sister shared at the funeral. I was shocked at the poise they had as they shared their reflections. It added so much to the beautiful celebration we had for Pete's life. Thank you Jeremy and Katie for your words and for taking me in as a sister. Pete continues to bless me with the family he welcomed me into.

Katie's reflection

Before he was a father, before he was a formal educator, before he was a physical therapist, before he was a husband, EVEN before he was a runner, Pete has always been a baseball player. Growing up baseball was his thing. There were daily pick-up games in our yard, weekly allowances spent on baseball cards, dinner conversations about batting averages, he even went as far as discussing the game while sleep walking.

In typical Pete fashion, he didn’t just play the game; he put his all into it. I can attest to this because being five years his minor, I was given the ‘gift’ of witnessing hundreds of games and the hours he spent at the batting cage, practicing switch hitting and mastering his knuckleball.

While I had the opportunity to perfect my friendship bracelet making skills on the bleachers, Pete's hard work paid off in a much more notable way. His focus, drive and determination led him to pitch a perfect game. An achievement many pitchers never accomplish let alone at a young age.

Years of pitching resulted in an elbow injury that shifted his focus to cross country and cultivated his interest in sports medicine and then physical therapy. Despite this shift in direction, his passion for the game remained consistent over the years. He continued to listen to Reds games on the radio and instilled his love of baseball in both Adah and Eamon.

I cherish the family vacations we attended minor league baseball games and cheering on the Reds at Great American Ballpark this past summer. While I have so many wonderful memories with Pete, the baseball ones will always be special.

Our left-hander has rounded third and is home.

Jeremy's reflection

The great thing about having a brother is they give you your first friend and your first rival.

Pete and I rode bikes and raced matchbox cars as friends. And there was also that time in middle school when fate smiled on me and my ping pong paddle and I somehow beat Pete twelve straight times. Beating him once was usually hard enough, so I would have been content with three or four in a row… but Pete refused to let me go upstairs until he finally won one.

But besides being my first friend and rival, Pete was also my hero.

He taught me how to choke up on a baseball bat, and never to give up walks to the bottom of the batting order.
He coached me in eighth-grade track and told me I would find that I could run harder, even if I was already hurting.
He showed me that high school was more rewarding when you also wrote for the school paper, joined the student diversity club, performed in musicals, and went on a mission trip to Mexico… all past-times that, in true little brother fashion, I eagerly took up right behind him.

As we got older, his example became more challenging to follow.

When he visited Boston University before his senior year, we went running and he lit into me for training only a couple days a week for the coming cross country season. “If you’re going to do something, he said, do it. Don’t sort of do it.”
A couple years later, I was having just an ugly, ugly cry in my bedroom, and he challenged me to describe why I was so heartbroken over this particular girl. You may be shocked to learn that at fifteen years old, I didn’t have much more than, Well, she’s cute. She was nice, too.
Pete put on his big brother pants and told me, wise and direct: No. Look at me and Eileen, he said. Family and faith are important to her. She shares my passion for social justice. We love sports, being active. If I wanted a special kind of happiness, he said, I had to be discerning. He was about to turn 19 as he said all this. Pete was my hero, because at no point in his life did he ever settle for anything less than exceptional.

Recently, as his lungs got weaker and his life got harder, he was able to do less than he wanted. He had to let some things go, as crazy as it surely made him.
But he never complained, at least not publicly. He didn’t pity himself. Or show any fear.

Even as he was forced to do less, he demonstrated resolve, grit. Grace. Only Peter Mosher could take doing less and find a way to somehow do more.

I witnessed his passion to demand more out of oneself… and the best out of life.
I know I’m still a work in progress… how could one not be, when Pete Mosher’s your big brother?

And the best out of life? Well, Pete Mosher’s my big brother.


  1. Thank you for sharing these reflections from Pete's siblings, Eileen. I don't think I ever actually formally met Pete, though I always stood in awe of him at CC meets in high school, and admired how well poised he was. It is a gift to be able to learn more about him through the eyes of others. Peace and prayers.

  2. Thank you so much for posting these. Honestly, I typically don’t listen in church. I try to…but my mind wanders. But, I remember every single word of these 2 reflections. I was in the back of church with my young son, looking at the collage poster of Pete, and it was so wonderful to listen to Pete’s siblings speak of him. I can see why Pete was Jeremy’s hero.
    PS - If an image file of that collage exist, please add to this blog if possible.

  3. Thank you, Eileen! These reflections are beautiful! Pete's siblings moved me to tears. -Bridget Rush

  4. On Sunday morning I awoke early. Still groggy with sleep, my wife turned over in bed and starred deeply into my eyes knowing. I had not slept well, replaying the previous nights' visitation in my mind over and over had sent me into somewhat of an emotional tailspin. I got up, quite formulaic, almost robot-like and shuffled to the bathroom. I began to cry, a silent cry at first that progressed into an uncontrollable body-numbing sob. I felt like I had never cried so hard in my life. I wanted him back. I wanted to give him another bear hug the way I did before he left for St. Louis. I wanted to hear his "take" on life because truly Pete could and would find the silver lining in any curve ball that was thrown his way. His earthly body was gone and now it was time to say "see you later" but crying in my shower all I could think about was "goodbye.'

    Beside myself with emotion I began to think back on my youth growing up in College Hill. I thought about the first time I met Peter. I reminisced on all the amazing times we shared as best buddies. I remembered how envious I was of his beautiful throwing motion, he could throw the tightest spirals and looked so good doing it. It was as if he never really tried. I thought back to the many years of competition in Knothole baseball and playing against Pete. I got to see firsthand what a knuckle ball looked like because he'd throw it when I was up to bat. I wish I could drum up some stats on how I fared against him over the life of our baseball careers, but truthfully, all I remember is sitting with him and his family afterwards drinking something sweet and cold figuring out when mom would be dropping me off at his house next. I did my first stint in theatre with Pete (College Hill library play), played my first instrument with Pete (clarinet), sang in my first church choir with Pete, won many a basketball tournament with Pete and sang many a St. Xavier Alma Mater shoulder to shoulder with this fine man.

    As I sat there naked, crying in my shower I suddenly realized I knew Peter really well. I experienced a fantastic life with Pete and shared so many beautiful memories, so I began to sing. It came out as a croak at first, barely audible. I probably swallowed a quart of blazing hot water trying to get it out, but it went like this:

    Our famed Alma Mater graces, every shrine within our hearts.
    With her unforgotten faces, and the faith that she imparts.
    Years in passing cannot sever, ties of old days from the new.
    We are Xavier men forever... As we hail the white and blue!

    I kept these words playing in my head, words to comfort me. As Katie and Jeremy stood there looking both so grown up, miles from the little brother and sister that always wanted to come play, the music began to fade from my head and my ears perked up as Katie began.

    When she was through I was beside myself, a puddle of tears. I don't know if anyone in that audience could relate the way I related to her words, actually growing up with Pete and baseball as our "youth through line." It was so much more than just a sport to us, it was our attempt at mastery of craft. It was our time to shine and let the fruits of our labor come to fruition. Whether that be through winning a city tourney, or pitching the perfect game, it was the journey that we loved so much. The dedication of repetition, the confidence of self and teamwork, baseball molded the men we are today. I was simply flabbergasted that the private musings of a long time friend not a hour earlier was now being so eloquently repeated from the point-of-view of a doting little sister. It was as if Katie peeked into my inner most thoughts.

    "Pete was my hero, because at no point in his life did he ever settle for anything less than exceptional."

    -Jonathan Dicks