So, we made it through Thanksgiving fairly unscathed. I even felt a little bit guilty because I wanted to break down but didn’t. I also cheated. I psyched myself out by convincing myself my brother was at work that day and could not make it to our house. What a load of crap, I know. He would have never missed a holiday but hey, whatever works, right? The other thing was, my oldest brother was in town who was an amazing distraction for me as well. Though he and Ward would have normally come on over together, I just kept going back to the “oh, it sucks Ward has to work today” thinking in my head. Once dinner was over and everyone left, I was relieved. Because then I convinced myself that Ward simply left, too. That it was just like any other Thanksgiving and that everyone just had to go home. Another load of crap, indeed.
Vinit and I carried on post-Thanksgiving dinner in our usual manner by hitting Black Friday sales. Amazing sales, at that. We created all kinds of normal on this holiday for something that should have been filled with sorrow and grief. While I cannot and will not ever forget my brother, there’s a huge part of me that is determined to keep moving forward though.
But sometimes, if it seems to good to be true, it IS too good to be true.
Because today I probably cried harder and more than all the days combined. And I may have even created an intentional situation just so I could get myself to get it out, such as well, not proud to admit it, but a fight with my mom. Which guys, I won’t be doing again. Next time, I’ll just cry – the fight was not necessary. I got a lot out. And it was built up for days.
For me, I keep thinking back to the last day I saw my brother. How it seemed only like yesterday. It was 21 days ago. There’s something extremely difficult about Sundays right now, where I think back to that last day, which was a Sunday, when I saw him last. He was right there, fully alive. He kissed my forehead and gave me a hug. He told me he loved me and I said it back. I remember how while I was getting my dad some soup that day and dropped the bowl of soup in the kitchen and how the bowl shattered and the soup splattered everywhere. My brother came in and talked with me while I cleaned it up. I remember following him, behind his car as we both left for our own homes. At one point he drove fast and I couldn’t see him and wondered where he went.
But as much as every bone in my body knows this was all by design, that I wasn’t meant to know what was to come, I keep going back to that day. Wishing I HAD known. What would I have done differently. Could I have done something to save him. And I end up back where I started and that is knowing this plan was already laid out. I couldn’t have done anything differently because I wasn’t supposed to do anything differently. And that hurts. I realized how I wasn’t able to have any control over any of this and it gets to me badly.
OK, so the point of this post was to talk about my breakdown. Now, let’s talk about some memories.
- when I was a kid, my brother (and he was 9 years older) used to sing me songs that he’d make up, like impromptu songs. but he always threw some sort of Scooby Do reference.. “tanya is a Scooby..”
- he appreciated the small and simple things in life. it meant the world to him any time I invited him to my daughter’s dance recitals.
- the work bag I use to this day was one he got me for Christmas last year.
- although he was my big brother, I felt protective of him and I protected him.
- when he’d come over and watch football games, anytime he’d go upstairs, he’d ask people what they needed or if I was sitting and watching the game and said something as little as “where’s my phone?” out loud, he would go run upstairs and get it for me, with out me ever asking anyone to do that.
- we often celebrated birthdays at cheesecake factory. I might not be doing that for a bit.
- my girls. they couldn’t have loved an uncle more. though they can be shy with people, they were always super drawn to him and instantly comfortable. for both their births, their uncle was right there at the hospital hours after having each baby with flowers and balloons in hand.
- I hear this from everyone around, but there was not a nicer guy, who would have done anything for anyone. he was selfless, extraordinarily patient, sacrificial and demonstrated all the qualities I know I wish I had more of. Because of this, he also carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. When someone was stressed out or had a problem, it affected him deeply. He hurt badly when others hurt. At times, I remember thinking – this isn’t even your problem, why are you so caught up in it but he truly had an amazing amount of empathy for others around him. I need to be more like that. And there’s not a soul who knew him who wouldn’t tell you all of this – the more stories I hear from everyone else who knew him, the more I realize we are all telling the exact same story with the same themes of this amazing human being. But here’s the best part … I got to call him MY BROTHER. :)
Ok, I’ll end it here. This writing thing is helping me tremendously as I mourn this terrible loss. I may end up back here as I process and work through it, in hopes of avoiding starting fights with family members. So just a warning.