I wasn’t going to write this. I set my mind to it early this morning not too. But, it feels like the elephant in the room so I must.
Today would have been my brother’s 31st birthday. He would have stepped firmly into his thirties today. It’s not like when you first turn the big 3-0 and you can kind of look over your shoulder and see a number that starts with a two in front of it. No, today – thirty would have been on both sides.
My brother died at Christmas time but oddly enough the day he died isn’t the day that quickens my pulse, it isn’t the day in-which, when thought of, I try not to think about. His birthday is the day that gets me. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because today there should be celebration. Today should be a day of laughter and good humored jokes at his expense. I’m supposed to be able to tell my little brother on this day that he’s becoming more and more over the hill. But today is just filled with sadness. It’s a reminder of a short life. A ghost has lived in my house today. Memories come flooding back and they replay on my walls. They fill the reccesses of my mind and they echo what could have been.
Did you know that my brother was the only one to help Travis and I move into this house? Did you know that I was the first person he told that my nephew was on the way? Did you know that he and I used to play in the vacant lot next to our house and pretend that a tree was a general store? I remember the time that he burned his hands on my dads muffler, oh my how it blistered up…but he wouldn’t cry in front of dad. No, way.
My brother was sweet and kind and took everything to heart. He could be easily wounded. He had a warped sense of humor and was a pro at making fun of songs; some of his Saturday Night Live impersonations I have stolen. Man, I remember when we would get into it though. He was my pesky little brother and my first real friend. As he grew up he remained sweet and kind but he had his demons and they were hard pressed to let him go. I think deep in his heart he used humor as a way to make through the day. As someone who suffers from anxiety myself I know that mask well.
So today, on your 31st birthday Allen, I will make the birthday wishes for you. I wish that your life could have been different. But mostly – I wish that I could have different in your life. I wish that I kept pushing. I wish I had been the sister you deserved.
Tell the ones you love that you love them. Make right any wrongs no matter who’s at fault. Forgiveness is meant to be given while living after life is gone – it’s merely a wish.