Today should have been my brother's 50th birthday.  It's not because he died ten years ago, 2+ months before his 40th birthday.  When my brother died, my son was just starting elementary school; now he is entering his final year of high school.   Ten years is a long time.

I don't remember the day he was born.  I do remember when he and my mom finally came home and I got gifts.  (How cool was that.)  I needed gifts; my mom had been away for a while (how many days I can't recall) and he was a loud baby.  I remember him crying a lot; maybe it was because my mom had to go back to the hospital not too long after that.  Not that it was his fault, but the months after my brother was born were not the best of times.  I was entering first grade and while I don't remember too much about that, I do remember that it was "hard" (well that's how I remember it).  Now that I think of it I about the same age my son was at the time he died; how strange is that?  (Stranger still my son and I both had the same first grade teacher; if I recall correctly my brother did not.)

I miss my brother.  As kids we were very close, even though six years separated us.  When we were both young and single we did a lot of fun stuff together.  (A concert at the PNC Arts Center, then known as the Garden State Arts Center comes to mind.  We went without tickets to see Elvis Costello and managed at the last minute to get good seats in "A" section.)  We still hung out once I was married; my husband LOVED my brother.  We hung out less when he got married and saw each other even less frequently just before my son was born.  (That's a LONG story that is too painful to get into.)

There were approximately two months between the last time I saw my brother and the day he died.  Even though we lived less than a mile away; we didn't see each other.  I wish HE'D made more of an effort; I'm sorry I did not.  I wish there had been more time.  But then you never know do you?  I should remember that. Maybe we should all remember that?

Whenever this day rolled around, I never knew what I should say to my mom when I called her.  (As I did just about every day.)  I never knew if I should remind her.  Should I bring it up?  Should I avoid it?  Now I don't have to do that.  (Does that make it easier for me or harder?  I'm not sure.)

I can't imagine my brother at 50.  In my mind, he's always that cute (and somewhat mischievous) kid.  The kid with bleached blonde hair and a tan; a true summer baby.  It's those memories, especially today, that bring a smile to my face.  I miss ya kid.


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