This is a guest piece by Marcy Bertling, Dean Montgomery’s older sister.
To the Mohrriors,
I’ve been thinking about this (love) letter to y’all since soon after Dean passed away in March, but haven’t been ready. I’m still not ready, but I’m going to try.
It is impossible for me to even type his name without crying. Dean. It’s been almost 3 months now since I’ve heard his voice and laughed hysterically at his incredible humor. The day he died my life also came to an end. The life I knew and loved since the day he was born was over. I was 8 years old and loved him more than anything in my life. We had a relationship that I knew we were lucky to have, though I now know I took it for granted. I always thought he would be there. It never once entered my mind that he might pass away before my mother, and at such a young age. You always feel like you have forever with the people you love and that’s just not true sometimes.
Growing up, he was my sounding board, my non-judgmental confidant and my biggest fan. As a little brother, he followed me around constantly, my shadow if you will. He was the sweetest soul and I loved him dearly, but he also drove me crazy. As a teenager, he was a bit of a hellion and (as my mother would say) “got into more shit” than you can imagine. The night before his funeral all of his high school friends and my family got together and I wish y’all could have heard all of the stories and even I probably don’t know half of them. Dean was, by far, the funniest person I have ever known. My stomach would hurt after talking to him because all I did was laugh, and I mean “belly laugh”. His noises, voices and comments were just too much. It was impossible to be in a bad mood when spending time with him.
As an adult, Dean was a Southern Gentleman who loved to have a good time. He loved his Mama and missed his Daddy who passed away when he was only 18 years old. He worked hard and played hard and everyone loved him. He was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and loved his Mississippi Gulf Coast home. Dean excelled as a natural salesman and later a Licensed Massage Therapist in the specialty of medical massage. He discovered his artistic talent in his 30’s and I loved his art. It was so exciting to see him create beauty on canvas and to feel his love and passion for this new creative talent.
He had the most positive, light filled energy of anyone I’d ever known. He and I shared an almost obsession with spiritual energy and the supernatural. He was always searching for those experiences and we loved to explore that together.
When he first told me about the Jay Mohr Sports show and the Mohrriors, I thought it was cool and we would listen and text into the show when I was home. His idea of creating the THTC logo and making shirts was amazing and I was so proud of him for that. He had been a fan of Jay’s for a long time before the sports show, so getting involved with this was a dream come true for him. I remember when he finally spoke with Jay about the logo and Jay asked him how much he wanted for the rights to use it. Dean was not prepared for that question, so just said, “How about tickets to a Los Angeles show for me and my sister?”. Sadly, we never were able to make that happen while he was alive. However, he was with me in spirit when my husband and I were given VIP tickets to Jay’s show at the Hollywood Improv in April. Thank you so much Jay.
One of the endeavors he was proudest of was his graphic design work that he did for the Mohrriors. He would call and tell me all about the avatars he was designing for everyone. I have his notebooks and sketch books with everything in it and I cherish them in a keepsake box along with other “typical Dean items” such as stress balls, Star Wars miniature figures, brain teaser puzzles, magic tricks/cards, plastic bugs/roaches and a pink egg toy which claims to have a flamingo inside. Yes, this was my brother. 🙂
As some of you may know, Dean loved water. He was a swimmer in high school and our Dad was a swimmer and diver at Florida State University. He loved the Gulf of Mexico and we used to vacation in Gulf Shores, AL when we were kids. He wanted to be cremated and Mom and I decided to spread his ashes in his beloved Gulf just off of the coast in Orange Beach, AL. This way, whenever we are near water, he will be there and we can visit the ocean instead of a gravesite. Mom can go down to the beach in Gulfport/Biloxi and I can go to one of many beaches near me here in Southern California. I do feel his presence with me on a daily basis and I know he is watching over me, my Mom and my children. I miss him so much it causes me physical pain and I wish I could hear his voice and that he could make me laugh again. I know this life is short and we will be together again and for now, I hold on to that.
I want to thank each and every one of you for being his friend. I only realized after his death how much he meant to so many people that he had never even met. This gives me so much joy and love is my heart. Dean was/is a truly beautiful soul and I am so very proud to be his big sister.
Love & Light,
Marcy Montgomery Bertling
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