Today is my brothers birthday. A day I can never forget.
I remember taking him to school for show and tell as a new born. He was my doll, my precious baby doll. I loved him so much. I was so happy to be his oldest sister. He was my dance partner as I, literally, flung him around.
I read to him. He was the only one I let in my private closet bedroom, the only time I ever had my own “room”.
I’ll never forget the day my mother called me at three in the morning.
Screaming that I had finally got what I had always wanted. Screaming at me that I was evil. Screaming at me that she wished it was me.
For five minutes I listened to her screaming and ranting, having no idea what she was so upset about.
When I finally got a chance for her to hear me, I asked what was wrong.
That is how I found out my brother had died. On his birthday.
I cherished him when we were little, but once I was married, when he was 8, I didn’t see him again. I had very little contact with my family after I married and moved away.
I still don’t.
We spoke a couple times, but that was it. I didn’t know how to stay in touch with some but not the others. So I stayed away from all.
I truly hardly knew who he had become as a new adult, with his own daughter. The Little Man I remember is still 8. I miss him with feelings that escape words. The dance parties, the silliness. The beautiful little boy.
I also mourn the Daniel I saw in a casket in Anchorage, Alaska, 14 years ago. The young man. The troubled and desperate young man that had his life ended so fast, so violently.
The last time I spoke to him was two weeks earlier. He begged me to let him stay with me, to help him like I had helped our sister.
For many reasons, that were appropriate at the time, I said I couldn’t. That tears at me all the time. All the unanswered what if’s. All the reasons. I know it was the right choice at the time, but that doesn’t really change the what if’s.
His spirit walks with me, and he is ageless. Not young, not old. He helps me let go of the pain. I’m grateful to be able to recognize when he is around.
It’s been a tough day. It doesn’t get easier.
I don’t really know what happens after we die, but I know that some how he lets me know he’s ok. Somehow he tries to help me heal.
It never feels less fresh. But I know HE doesn’t hold my answer against me, I do.
Daniel, thank you. I love you. I miss you.