Dear John

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Hey, Big Brother!

I was going to write about you tomorrow, but as I was sitting here, I thought today is better. A year ago, you were still with us.  A year ago, I still had a big brother. A year ago, I was looking forward to that spring visit and getting another big brother hug-finally.

A year ago we still had a brother, dad, grandpa, husband. All of us. We still had you.

But tomorrow, a year ago. That changed. In an instant, so unexpectedly, you were gone. I am trying to not think about it. The call. Those words. But as anniversaries go, that is impossible. I feel the physical effects of those words still.  I remember my hands shaking, my heart racing. I remember the sobs…the deep sobs from places inside, coming from my wounded soul.

I don’t want to remember that stuff. That pain. That heartache.  It still feels new. I can’t forget how it felt to hear that I no longer had my big brother. I think about all the things that never will be….

I was thinking about you today as I dried my hair. I was remembering just odd things, I guess.  Moments in my life, memories of times long gone. There wasn’t enough memories you know, but I guess there never is. I was thinking about the time we sat at our aunt’s house, our dad’s sister-she was getting us homemade vanilla ice cream and strawberries. We were there to pick up some genealogy stuff she had that our grandma had done.  You looked at me and asked…”How did our dad die?”  Here you were grown, married and you didn’t know.

I remember being at our cousin’s wedding and she was dancing that Dad and daughter’s dance and “Daddy’s Little Girl” was the song. I started crying…almost sobbing, knowing that was something I never had, losing Dad so young. You put your arm around me to comfort me…always the quiet protector you were!

I remember when Dad’s brother died and we were all at the cemetery.  He had requested to be buried next to his brother, our dad. There we stood, us four. The three sisters and the brother.  You seemed so stoic, arms around us, again being the protector, taking care of us so quietly.

I think about you and how I always thought you were a rare kind of man. So quiet and caring. So loving to his family. I never heard you raise your voice to anyone. That quiet, calm voice.  Your family were a lucky bunch! And wow, big brother, your family! The love that you had for all them was so very evident. What a beautiful family it is! You did good! I visited them last fall. It was wonderful to spend time with them, but it was so strange to not have you there. I kept looking for you, sensing you near by, feeling your absence.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you! I miss you with all of my heart and I always will.  My world became a different place when I no longer had parents and it changed again when I lost my big brother.

I hope that you knew just how much I loved you and how proud I always was to be your little sister!

Missing you and your presence in my world a whole lot right now!

Love always, your little sister,

Joy

 

6 comments

  1. You did a beautiful job sharing your story — sharing your love for your big brother — sharing your pain. You touched my heart as well as many others, I am sure. Loss is never easy and memories are what sustains us. Thank you — am sharing your story!

  2. Beautifully said Aunt Joy. My father was indeed “a rare kind of man”. He was the best kind of man. A father like him will never truly leave me. His presence,his lessons, the memories, the love that he showed, I will always carry that with me.

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