Not Remembering...

My Mother was pretty upset on Saturday afternoon.  A friend brought her a plant and a card, which was a lovely gesture.  But it reminded her that Saturday was June 2nd; the 6th anniversary of my brother's death.  Until that moment, she hadn't remembered. 

It wasn't that she forgot my brother.  It wasn't that she forgot the date.  It was simply that she had so much else going on in her mind (my dad has just had surgery the day before and on the days leading up to it she'd been immersed in paperwork and getting everything organized and now she was taking care of my dad at home).

One of the reasons I had stayed with my parents over the weekend (besides being there for the whole hospital/surgery/recover thing) was that I remembered what June 2nd was.  I purposely didn't say anything about it BECAUSE I knew that both of my parents were going through enough stress without me adding to it.  My "plan" was to do or say nothing unless they brought it up and then I would be there to support them. 

My mother felt awful that she hadn't remembered the day.  My retort was why SHOULD she remember?  For all of us, it was one of the worst days we would have face.  Who would WANT to remember it?  It is more important to remember and celebrate his short life on his birth date.  That was a day of joy...and we certainly need to remember the joy and not the sorrow and pain.

Why would I want to look back on that day?   If anything, I try to push the horrible memories out of my mind; not just of that day, but of the week that followed.

I'd rather focus on that hot August day when he was born.  On the day that he and my mom came home from the hospital.  Of the various birthday parties that he had and the toys that were his favorite.  I'm showing my age when say that one of my strongest summer memories is of him furiously riding his Big Wheel up and down our street.

That's how I want to remember my brother.  As a little kid filled with joy as he sped down the street.  (Did Big Wheels even have brakes?)    Isn't that how we want to remember all of our loved ones who have passed on?  We don't want to remember the "bad" or the painful?   We want to and NEED to focus on the uplifting moments.  We SHOULD focus on the laughter and not the sorrow. 

No one in my family will ever forget my brother.  And we will not focus on the day he died, but on the day he was born.  We will celebrate his life and memory on that day.  Because THAT is the day I want to remember.


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