Today my younger brother would be 32 years old. He has missed the last 29 of those birthdays. In those 29 years so many things have changed and evolved in my world. Some days I am still angry and others I am sad but most days I try to stay thankful for where I am now.
He was 3 on that September day. I was babysitting, trying to do my homework and watching TV. He wanted to go play with the neighbor boy and I let him go, by himself with the dog. I worked on my math and watched TV. Then there was banging on the front door, frantic talking, running with no shoes on, being held back by unknown arms, crying, feeling scared and finally the understanding of what had happened sinks in.
He was 3. The girl who hit him was a teenager, the sun was in her eyes. Everyone pointed fingers, casting blame and saying hurtful things. Name calling, silence, resentment, bitterness and more silence. I lost my mom that day as well. She was never the same, none of us were. Trying to keep my sanity as my other brother’s father told me time and time again how all of this was my fault. I had ruined everyone’s life, it should have been me. I wished it had been me. Anything to take that pain away from my mom.
Today he would have been 32. I am not sure where my life would be if he was still with us. I do know that my outcome could possibly be extremely different. The details of my younger years are not pleasant and his passing was a turning point for me. I made changes and worked past the evil I had encountered and the evil I would still have to face in the years following his passing. I am a survivor because of him. In his 3 short years with us he taught me how to be silly, how to laugh, how to love unconditionally and how to keep trying no matter what.
Three and a half years ago our mom joined him in heaven. I can only hope that they were reunited and get to be together.