Letting go.


My 16 month old brought THIS to me the other day.

I think it has my deceased brother’s voice on it. I think.

I’ve held on to this tape for about 12 years. He’s been dead for 16 years. Each time I find it, I think about it. I think this is a tape recording of him or just an outgoing answering machine message. I don’t even know what it is! I think about finding a tiny little tape player to play it in…just so I can hear his voice. I never do though. I put it away until I find it again a few years later.

And so it goes.

Until the other day.

Now I’ve held on to this little gem for too many years to not at least think about repairing it. Then I stopped the madness. So what? I would repair it to put it away again? I think I keep putting it away because hearing his voice would freak me right the fuck out. Sending me into dark places I haven’t been in years. I haven’t been in those spaces because of people like the cute little cherub that gave me this gift. The gift of letting go.

I’m letting it go.

 

Are you irrationally sentimental like me?

 

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Imagine

My brother would have been 38 today. It’s so strange to try to picture him as a man. A grown man. An old man. He died 16 years ago just before his 21st Birthday.

He would have aged well I’m sure, both my sister and I have. He’d have some wrinkles – laugh and worry lines. And be looking distinguished with a bit of grey.

I think of the last time I saw him and it’s just too painful. Tears are stinging my eyes. Instead I prefer to remember this guy.

This was taken about a year before he died on our trip to Ireland. We had so much fun. He was so much fun. An odd combination of funny and serious, that one. He was kind and generous and a complete stubborn pain in the ass. My little brother was all those things and more.

38. Imagine that? I can. And it makes me smile and cry at the very same time.

Right now my kids are fighting about sitting next to each other. Brother and sister :-) I was secretly glad when I found out my third child was a boy. Little brothers are special. I was excited that they would have one. I miss mine.

 

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Gratitude and Inspiration

I am so thankful for all the kind words and thoughts I received over the weekend regarding the death of my brother. Even though it was so long ago, it made a difficult weekend a bit easier. Knowing the love others had for him, and have for me, was such a gift.

I am especially thankful to my friend Lynnette. She reminded me of a story I told in one of our Masters degree classes about my brother. I found that story in my notes up in the attic and I will make it into a book for my children. A book about their Uncle Danny. I can’t wait to get started.

Lots of people and things inspire me. Words, pictures, films, gestures, nature, my children…  I am so tickled that I have become an inspiration to others. Little ole’ me!

Mamas from all parts of my life, a childhood friend, a high school cheer leading teammate, a college friend, and a new online friend I’ve haven’t even met yet. And there are countless others that follow me on twitter. We are a mutual admiration society of people giving each other virtual high fives.

It all has to do with the 4 Hour Body and the success I’ve had on it.

So just thanks everyone. It was an interesting weekend. Much love. Thanks.

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16 years

Today it has been 16 years since my brother died. 16 years.

Unreal.

Like it was yesterday, yet a lifetime ago.

Some years go by without a tear. Some, like this one, come with sobs.

As our kids get older, my sister and I think about what a great uncle he would make, what a great father he would have been.We console ourselves with memories and tell our kids stories, but really,
it’s just not good enough.

Yet it has to be.

He was so loved and still is.

My heart aches for my parents today, for now I truly now what it means to love a child.

Until we see you again, much love little brother.


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Birthday Blues

Ah hell, I just got a mild case of the birthday blues. Don’t you hate that?

Missing my brother as I stand on the steps of 40 years old and the anniversary of his death.
Is it possible that it’s been 16 years? Amazing how grief can sneak up on you even after all that time.

I read the lyrics to this song at his funeral. I love this version of it.

 

I’m off to cry for a bit then shake it off and get ready for birthdaypalooza weekend…

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