One of my pet peeves/minor annoyances/things that tick me off are those people on social media who wish a "Happy Birthday" to people who are no longer alive.  If you're dead, what is the point of posting a birthday greeting?  To me it's just silly/stupid.  Additionally, I'm irked/annoyed when people post death "anniversaries".  I don't know why these things get under my skin; they just do.

Which I suppose makes me somewhat of a hypocrite as I reflect back on my brother today.  It would have been his 43 birthday.  Which means that he's been gone for over 3 years now.  Somehow it seems longer than that; in other ways it seems like just yesterday.  (Isn't that the case for so many "milestone" events?)

There are certain times of the year when memories of my brother are stronger than others.  Obviously the day he was born and the day he died stand out.  I find that as it gets closer to the date of his birth, I start thinking more about him and the things that we used to do together.  (Although we were 6 years apart, we were, for the most part, close and we did quite a few wacky things together.)  As the older sister, he was often my "guinea" pig or my back up.  No one to go to the mall with?  Take John; he can carry bags for you (and help set up the gumball machine that I bought at the "coolest" place:  Spencer's Gifts). Learning to drive a stick shift? Bring John. (Together we would chant for traffic lights to change from red to green so that I wouldn't have to stop on a hill. First and third gears are SO CLOSE.)  Want to head to a concert at the last minute that you don't have tickets for?  John will go along.  (And won't say a word about how fast you are driving.)  We did lots of silly "kid" things together.  I recently dug out photos of us "carving" (make that massacring) a pumpkin one Halloween and building a "snowman" (or some sort of giant figure on our front lawn).

There are memories that I wish I had; stories that I've heard that I wasn't a part of.  He took a trip to the Virgin Islands (or some island) with a class in college and snorkeled.  He played tuba in Rockefeller Center along with I don't know how many other tubists (is that a word?) for Tuba Christmas.  (I may not have been there, but I still have his souvenir hat and scarf from that day.)  And how he supposedly went skinny dipping in a neighbor's pool after my wedding.  (Since the party didn't end until after 11, if he DID do that I think he would have been pretty safe in not getting caught!)

We grew up and we grew apart.  Not in distance, but in lifestyles.  We all get caught up in our life drama.  Do we ever really realize that nothing lasts forever?  I could spend hours going over the "what ifs" or "if I had known then what I know now," but that is pointless.  My brother's death should have been  a wakeup call.  Don't let time slip through your fingers.  Find the time to make the memories...for some day they may be all you have left to reflect on.


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