My brother would have been 45 today. My parents, sister and brother will gather this afternoon to remember him. To celebrate his life, to share our memories, to weep, to laugh, to comfort.
Time, as Danielle put it so eloquently, does in some fashion, heal us, but doesn't. I use the word heal reluctantly. There is a hole. There will always be a hole in the fabric of our family. The crushing, hopelessness of those first days, weeks and months, eases. But the missing lingers. We struggle to remember him as he was. To close our eyes and have that mental video playing of him laughing, talking, joking, moving. But more and more often, the video has become still images. Snapshots instead of movement. Which is hard in its own right. Someone else put it like this: “I miss the missing.” The acceptance of the new reality brings its own sadness.
The things I remember:
Camping trips. We all had matching red coca cola shirts. The boys slept on one end and the girls on the other.
Holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Birthdays...
6 of us. Two boys, two girls... how perfect.
Graduation night. It rained.
The first big break up.
His first car: a camaro with white vinyl seats. How proud he was of it.
Joining the army. I thought it meant he was going to war, even though it was a time of peace. I cried.
Letters first to Oklahoma during basic training, then to Germany.
Long distance phone calls.
The birth of a daughter on Christmas Day.
Then a son
Two more daughters.
He made pancakes for them every Saturday.
Lots of laughter.
I wish I remembered more. I wish I had known him better. I wish, I wish, I wish. A thousand things.
6 months ago