17 years since my brother died. since AIDS took him. 18 and a half years since AIDS took his partner, Jeff. and around 18 years since Eric found Randal- who saw it through til the end. 17 years since a devoted pit bull named Justice laid down on Eric’s legs while he was sleeping, and stayed there beyond Eric’s last breath. (Eric and Randal got him from a shelter, and named him Justice “cuz there ain’t no Justice”)
17 years. a long time. yet just a few days ago. my mother said that when i talked to her earlier. and i guess that’s how it should be. how i want it to be. it has been a long time, but i want it to feel like just a few days ago. to never forget. i never will. it may sound dramatic, but truly, there is not a day that goes by where he does not cross my mind. but i don’t really know what to say today. it’s going to be a really hectic month here at Puff the Magic Rabbit, and i’m stressed to the point of wanting to shut down. i almost would have liked for today to go by without my remembering the significance of it. but the day is here, and it’s one of the days in my life that marks the passing of time.
if i was speaking to him today, what would he say and what would i say? i think what i am missing the most right now is the positive influence he would be in my daughter’s life. my 14 year old, brave, strong, sensitive girl is quite openly a lesbian- and i think that having Eric around might help her with some of the issues she will face- issues he faced many years ago. i’d like to talk to him about those issues then- i was really too young to help at the time, but i’d like to know what he faced through my older eyes. offer whatever i could even though it’s way too late.
so i try to strike a balance between wanting all the things we all missed out on, regretting all that i was not able to be while he was still here, and knowing that really what we had is just what we had. there will always be missing, and wishing, and regretting, and imagining.
this is where it is at 17 years.
same request as always- tell your siblings you love them, and if you must pick on them or call them names- do it with as much love and kindness as you can.