On Thursdays, if you log in to Instagram, you can see lots of #tbt being thrown around. I love it! I like seeing old pics of my friends when they were little or with family and siblings. I love the 1970’s Sears photos that make us all look like we had red hair. I love the outfits, costumes, embarrassing moments, and baby pictures. LOVE IT ALL! But for my #tbt today, I had an extra special topic: my big brother.
This Thursday, February 13, 2014, should be his 43rd birthday. Instead of celebrating him, we are remembering him. Even though he lived in Texas, he would make it a point to come “home” to Oklahoma around the time of his birthday so our parents could take him out to dinner. His last trip like that in 2010, we were not only celebrating Brian’s 40th birthday, but also our cousin from New York’s new baby boy, Rocco. 4 year old Kayleigh was with him. The cousins were all having a blast together. There was just an air of comfort, joy, and peace. Another milestone celebrated – sure there would be many more to come. If we had known what was actually coming, there would have been more memories, more photos, more love. Less than two months later, he'd be gone.
2011 will go down for me as the roughest year I have had. I know I learned more that year than any or all of my four years of high school or college. Life lessons, science, math, autopsies, obstetrics, neonatal, you name it. I know each and every step we took that year was leading us to the place we are now. We are stronger, smarter, more resilient. But we are sad. And lonely. We was too young, gone too soon, and we miss him. We want to shake our fists and say, “It’s just not fair!” Because it isn't. So we cry. Hold each other. Love.
I think birthdays are the hardest. Sure, all the other holidays and special moments are hard, too. But at Christmas, there are 4-5 kids ripping into wrapping paper, telling us their version of the Christmas story. Food to be prepared, visitors, things to keep us busy. All the other holidays have this “outward’ focus as well. But birthdays? Birthdays are different. Birthdays are intensely personal. And all about one person. You may know some other person or even be related to another person with the same date of birth, but it’s YOUR birthday! So, on this day all about my brother, I’m devastated. He doesn't get to watch his daughter grow up. He doesn't even know my youngest. HE won’t be here to help me with my parents as they age and pass on. I can’t ask him for advice. I can’t complain out our nutty family to a person who TRULY gets it. I never was an only child, but now I am. It leaves a lot of loose ends.
I just miss him. And on his birthday, it’s magnified. I wish you were here, Big Brother. I hope you are having a heck of a party up there in heaven. I’ll see you again someday…
|#tbt 1975, 2001, 2007, 2010, 2011 (last b-day in Stillwater)|