Bittersweet birthday

I made some great food for Easter this year, and even took pictures, but I will save that for later, because there’s something more important I have to do. Today is my brother’s birthday. He died in the summer of 1995. His birthday and that day’s anniversary can be rough for me, though usually it’s not a big deal. But this year it hit me hard, so today’s post is for Jack.

Golden boy: smart, athletic, good-looking, a great artist, great singer, charismatic, kind, he was the kind of person everyone wanted around. Oh there were problems; he wasn’t the perfect guy he appeared to be, but he kept his demons to himself as much as he could and tried not to make his problems be anyone else’s. I know I loved him, wanted to be like him, to be around him and his friends.

People talk a lot about families and unconditional love. My family’s a little weird, and I didn’t necessarily feel that stuff from my parents; Jack was where I got that, and when he died I lost that safety, on top of losing this amazing person. I miss him all the time, he’s so much a part of the fabric of my life. Almost every story I tell about my childhood involves him in some way, and I have been so much influenced by who he was and how he lived, good and bad. It was a devastating loss, and I don’t know that I’ve ever really recovered from it.

There’s so much more to his story and mine and how I feel about all of it, and so few words to adequately capture everything. I don’t really talk about it except with the people I’m really close to, but it’s with me every day in some way or another. Some days I may not think about those bits of him that follow me as I go about my life, and some days the emotion and reality of it washes over me in an uncontrollable wave. Today’s the latter kind, obviously.

I love you. And knowing how you loved me allowed me to be the person I’m most proud of, and for that I am forever grateful. I was so lucky to have a truly amazing brother. And there are no words to express how terribly, how desperately I miss you. And today it needed to be said.

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About pippingeek

feminist geek starting over outside the academy
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