Dear John,

Today would have been your 48th birthday and as your (older) sister, I wanted to write something profound or at least good to honor you.  But I'm finding that it's not working, so instead I'm writing you this "letter" because it just seemed like the thing to do.

Maybe it's the noise from next door.  Mom and Dad don't live there anymore.  (If you'd been around you would have gotten caught up in the clean out.  I wouldn't have let you NOT be involved.  Maybe you are "lucky" that you weren't around because it was...well to put it mildly...a mess!)  It's not the same house and I think that's a good thing.  All of the noise from the construction which has been going on for what seems like forever (but really hasn't been THAT long) drives me to distraction, sometimes.  But if I say that's why I can't write it's just as BS excuse because I've written lots of stuff over the past several months.  So...

I used to think 2012 was the worst year of them all.  And not just because you died...although I have to say that you dying just a few days before my birthday really sucked the big hairy mo.  Your death was a biggie, but there were so many sucky things that happened that year (losing my job, Super storm Sandy and too much else that I don't want to get into).  I didn't think anything could top it.  I, my dear brother, was wrong.  2020 is a year you should be glad you missed.

There's this whole Covid-19 thing which is beyond craptacular.  (So beyond that people were hoarding tp at the beginning of this mess that shows now end.)Sickness and death; no control over anything and so many talking heads claiming hoax  Understandable restrictions that will forever mar our way of life, which is no longer our way of life. Face masks aren't just for Darth Vader anymore!  Many of us are working from home (I am) and while the commute is great, it means that you don't turn off at 5 and if you're like me (were you like me?) you turn on early in the morning.  School is online too Our town just moved from Stage 3 Hybrid B to Stage 2 Hybrid A...it's too complicated to even try to explain.  It should be "easy" for us as the kid is in high school (can you believe it?) and SHOULD be capable to staying on track and on top of things.  (Are you laughing yet?)  I feel for those with more than one who are also trying to hold down jobs.  And don't even get me started on teachers who are either branded as saints or sinners depending on the day and what they plan to do.  (Like maybe selfishly not want to teach in a traditional classroom where before this mess they had to beg for hand sanitizer and tissues and now are faced with a room full of masked kids, any one of whom could possibly be an asymptomatic carrier that could infect them or anyone in their family.  This Covid-19 is the strangest bitch anyone has ever seen.  Now is not a good time to re-read The Stand)  One of your best friends is a teacher (you knew that right?) and I believe he is going to be teaching in person (or at least that's the latest update I have; everything can turn on a dime these days and apparently dimes and all coins are in peril).  Maybe you just want to watch over him.  (Can you do that?  Do you do that?  Are you doing that?)

2020 has been a total Sh*tshow.  Before Covid, much of Australia was on fire (thankfully not our cousins) and Donald Trump (I know you can't believe he's president; how did The Simpsons  know?) was impeached, but acquitted (I hope I got the terminology right, but I know you'll give me a pass if I didn't).  During Covid there were murder hornets, racial injustice (and that's putting it mildly) that would make you think that civil right didn't exist, and of course you "standard" hurricane, tornados and the new kid on the block, the Derecho.  It's beginning to look like Revelations got it right. (Ok, I've never actually read Revelations...maybe I should try to fit it into my schedule?)  Society right now is completely topsy turvey.  Tell the kids not to lie, but everybody lies (House was right) and everybody KNOWS it, but no one cares.  Kindness isn't cool and name calling is encouraged.  Seriously; we wish accused sexual predators well and think that there some good people who are neo-Nazis.  

Of course there are still some rebel scum out there who believe that children shouldn't be put in cages (even if they've crossed the border by climbing that beautiful wall that Mexico paid for illegally), black lives matter (I know...it should be a given, but...) and a whole bunch of other radical stuff like fact checking and loving thy neighbor.  (I had to throw a little JC in there.)  I may not be a completely nasty woman (yes, that's a thing), but I'm pretty close to the line.

But I won't give up hope and I want to believe that you wouldn't either.  And if you have any words of encouragement to whisper in my ear (can you do that?) from wherever you are, I'm listening...I REALLY am.

Since, you should always end a letter on a good note, I want you to know that another one of your besties (it's a thing) is getting married this fall.  (You know he proposed in Disney, right?  Guess he learned something from you!)  You should keep an eye on those September weddings and anniversaries.

Miss you, A LOT! (Still!)


Your sister

(aka:  the one who picked up the poop off the floor after it fell out of your diaper.)


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