To my late brother:
Here we are six months later since we lost you. How we made it to this point, I don’t know. How we lost you, I have not yet come to terms with that yet. Why we lost you, we will never know. Like today, it was a Monday that we lost you – at 9:22 am. We watched you take your last breaths and embrace God.
I wondered yesterday how you easily allowed yourself to submit to God’s will. I wondered if I could do that – take what had been handed to me and to accept it. I have never been known to accept anything and maybe, this is something I could learn from. I also thought about how loved you were and I wished that when my time came that I would have that much love around me. See, you were good at getting people to like you because you chose to not let things get to you and you definitely didn’t make enemies. You were one of those people that pleased the world even if it meant sacrificing your own happiness in the process.
Greed makes this world go around but you never had a greedy bone in your body. Sometimes, I wish that I could be half as decent as you were. Maybe I am but you made decency something that an example can be set from.
I miss you. Your nephews miss you. We all miss you.
Our baby sister made comment once after you passed away about how you were the only one that could bring us all into a room together and you were the only one that could force us to set our differences aside at least for the moment that we were together. More than anything in the world, I wish we could be together all in the same place again but we are all scattered, not just by geography, but with has happened to us. How do we come back from this? How does Mom come back from this? How do any of us find a way to move on?
On July 9, you would have turned 32. You had not even lived a third of a lifetime when cancer came into our lives. See, cancer didn’t just take you. It took us too. Sometimes, I feel like I am dead inside and Mom – sometimes I watch her and what I see is that she feels nothing. She feels so empty inside like someone tore her heart from her chest. I lost a sibling and a friend and I feel dead inside so I can’t begin to imagine what she feels. What I do know is that it is much worse than what I feel. Our brother, J, he has shut he whole world out since your death. And our baby brother, he keeps trying to fill your shoes despite being told that he doesn’t have to and he can’t no matter how hard he tries. Your sisters, they just keep going because there is nothing we can do. We have never been so sad in our entire lives and now, it is a daily thing.
I remember when I went to you almost four years ago and told you that I was getting married. How worried you were. You told me that you saw what being married was like for me the first time, and you didn’t want me to go through that again. You told me to make sure that this was what I wanted and you do told me you what accept my choice no matter what. You then proceeded to tease about how old the person I was marrying was and then laughed and I told me I was too old too. That’s the kind of person you were – you managed to laugh no matter how serious the subject was. The irony is how much has changed in four years. You wanted to protect me even when you knew I didn’t need protecting. Heck, you knew I never needed protecting but you did the brother thing and tried.
When we kids, I always protected you from all the neighborhood bullies. No one messed with you because they were afraid of me. When you got sick, how I wished I could protect you. But the stakes were different and you knew that I did everything I could for you. I know that you knew that I went above and beyond, but I wish that I could have done more.
What can I do now that you are gone? All I can do is to live my life and be a good person. That’s what you would have done if you had lived. You would have continued to make every moment and every person count. I learned how short life was when we lost you. I learned what it truly meant to live by watching you battle cancer. I learned how you lived your life and who you really were after you died when your life unfolded before my very eyes through your poetry and your various writings.
Mom always felt sorry for you. That is why she babied you and spoiled you. It was always “poor you,” and we teased her about it. How did she know? We will never understand but I guess mothers have a good gut instinct when it comes to their kids. There is a lot we don’t understand. I guess we are not supposed to.
I miss you. We all miss you. Rest in peace.