Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of my brother Justin’s death.
I never quite know how to deal with anniversaries of this sort. I miss him a lot. He was my closest sibling. He was a year older, and we went through a lot together before he was taken home to be with Jesus at 20. He was amazing, funny and talented and I think he secretly thought the same of me. Like the time he showed his best friend a few of my paintings without my knowing. It felt good to know my big brother was proud of me.
It’s weird, after 10 years his name is still on the tip of my tongue. I don’t know what to do with that. We were close, but I’ve known siblings who were closer. There are days and weeks when I don’t think of him. There are days when I look at my kids and feel like crying because he didn’t get to see me be a mom. I didn’t get to see him be a dad. I used to just barge into his room and talk about whatever I was thinking about. If something was bothering me, or whatever. He’d meander around his room listening to me. Sometimes he’d respond. Sometimes he’d just shrug. Sometimes I felt annoyed, sometimes reassured.
I draw owls for him because that was the animal he picked for himself. I was a hen. That always made me laugh.