Saturday was 4 years since my brother, Jonathan, died. I spent the day watching Breaking Bad online (seemed appropriate since he was a federal agent and all) and writing notes to family. To chase away the sad thoughts, I tried to think of all the ways Jonathan positively impacted me, and it wasn’t hard, not at all.
The reason I wrote notes to family is because Jonathan taught us all to express our love. Near the end, he was concerned that we don’t tell each other we love one another enough. I decided to honor that. I also wanted everyone to know just how thankful I am that they are still in my life. It’s scary to think of losing even more people, but we all will at some point, we don’t know when, and if we don’t express our love and gratitude now, we could miss the chance.
I also thought about where I am now and all of the things I wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for Jonathan. Jonathan was without a doubt the most supportive family member when it came to following our (this includes Roy) dreams. It’s because of him that Roy and I took the chance and moved to California. It’s also because of him that I decided to go for it with a new, exciting, and challenging job here in Oregon. It’s because of him that I’ll take more chances and go for it over and over again.
I’m the family member who always insists that 10/15 is just an arbitrary day, based on a Western calendar, etc., etc. Yet I can’t deny that the day does impact me. It’s in our memories and always will be. I just want to make sure that memories of Jonathan, his smile, his laugh, his making fun of me…all of that far outshines the memories of this one, tragic day. I don’t want to commemorate that day, but if it’s going to pull on my heart year after year, I’m going to do all I can to honor and remember the good times.