This is not a plea for sympathy. We all face these things over the years. My other brother died of lung cancer at 42, and my niece at 19 in another car accident, and I've lost more precious friends than I want to count right this minute. Still, there is something about the first really close death that truly slams the door on the first chapter of one's life and starts the second.
Wayne's picture is on my piano, along with several other pictures of people I miss on a daily basis. Wait. That's not technically true. Some days I get so immersed in the day to day trivia of laundry and subway rides and planning what's for supper that I guiltily admit I forget to think about them. They have just become part of the fabric of my life. The information about my brothers, my niece, and my friends has become a statistic about me, like the color of my eyes (hazel) and the color of my hair (silver..not gray, please) and my height (about which I will just say that my head and my feet are way too close together). But on days like this, on anniversary dates, on birthdays (theirs and mine) I get sentimental and I open the floodgates of longing. I miss their laughs, their voices, and all the years out of which I feel cheated. It reminds me of the times I would re-read old love letters after the messy endings of relationships in order to tear the scab off the wound, to prove my loyalty by preventing my healing.
So today, "Big Brother", although you are forever one year older than my son is now, and almost forty years younger than I am today, I send a kiss heavenward and tear the scab off once again. When I was fourteen you became the first member of what I think of as my "advance team", and you have been my constant reminder of how fragile and precious life can be. It sometimes makes me over-protect your nephews, or try to, but all in all that's not such a bad legacy.
With love from your forever "Baby Sister".