Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thirteen Years


A number with so much emotion.

If it's a Friday, people don't like it so much.

But, if you're twelve turning the elusive "thirteen" it's a big deal.

What if it's your brother's Thirteenth angelversary?

How do you feel about "thirteen" when you know for the next year that is how long your brother hasn't been with you?

Michael Lee
My Wonderful Brother
5/26/89 to 3/15/98

Each year is a little different. At first, it was really hard. He wasn't there, I was used to him being there. Now, I don't feel my heart is ripped out when I think about it. I've reached the point of acceptance. I miss him, I think about him everyday. Sometimes I think, oh, he would have loved this. Or, Buddy hated this. Sometimes, I even want an Ihop pancake because he loved their syrup. And, I can do this with love and happiness.

And sometimes, it's sad. The day I got married I missed him tremendously. I was happy, it was my wedding, but I missed him. He wasn't there. It's weird though, I can't imagine 21 year old Michael at the wedding, he doesn't exist. I can only imagine almost 9 year old Michael there.

Jibber Jabber
One of Buddy's Favorite Toys
And that leaves me wondering - who would he be today? Many people might not have been able to see it, but I know his personality. I know what he liked and didn't like. To this day driving down some of the streets in New Orleans I can't help but think Buddy would LOVE these bumps. Even when my poor car is having a rough time with the bumps, it can put a small smile on my face thinking about the laugh he would have on those roads!! (He really would have loved these roads!)

I think the hardest part of it all though, has been forgetting. I was 11 when he went to heaven. He's been gone for over half my life and most of the time that he was here, I wasn't even entirely aware of life. And that hurts sometimes. It saddens me that I can't remember his face in perfect detail in my mind anymore. It saddens me that I can no longer remember the sound of his laugh. It just saddens me that my memory of my brother has been eroded by the ocean of time, and it saddens me even more when I think that I have another 50 years or more without him.


I know he is in heaven, and I know that I'll get to be with him again one day. But, on days like today, sometimes I just hurt because he's not here. Because I can't see his goofy grin, I can't shake his jibber jabber for him and I can't hear him laugh.

So, I'll take a few minutes today, like I do every year even though I'm miles away from my family that I long to be with and I'll release a few ballons to him. Maybe if they have one, I'll even release a dalmation ballon, because he loves dalmations.

101 Dalmations VHS Cover
This was Michael's favorite movie.

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