It’s that time of the year, again. I’ve always loved the fall, but after four years ago it just isn’t the same. When the leaves start changing, I remember driving to Baltimore all those times to see him. I remember seeing him for the first time after the diagnoses and collapsing to the floor. I’ve always been good about seeing people in the hospital, but not him. I couldn’t take seeing my brother, my hero, laying helpless on a hospital bed unable to breathe for himself, open his eyes, talk or move. That wasn’t him, that was not the brother I loved. He should have been out swimming in the ocean, picking up sting rays or nurse sharks and freaking me out. He should have been experimenting on the poor mice he used to work with in his lab. Hell, WE should have been having a few drinks arguing about this and that.
He was not supposed to die.
I know I write the same stuff every year, but it doesn’t get easier. It still feels like the first day I visited him in the hospital and it still feels like the day, twenty-six days later, when I got the call. If anything, you start convincing yourself it didn’t happen. I still wake up thinking he’s in Baltimore at work or in the spare bedroom on vacation. I still hold myself back so I don’t drunk dial him on a night out. I still think he’s going to be there for me to complain to when I don’t want to complain to anyone else.
I know he is here – you don’t have to be religious to believe that. Matt and I – we were Agnostic, or whatever. We believed what we wanted to believe. I want to believe he is here. He is the spider that falls on my computer when I’m writing or the flickering light when I’m home alone. Whenever I see a moose toy or a cardinal fly by, I know he’s there. He has to be. Some nights, I stop believing it and that’s when truth sets in that he really is gone. But I have to believe and realize this all happened for a reason. Sure, it doesn’t make any sense and never will, but all I can do is believe.
I love you, I miss you.
Your little sister, Jenni.