Junior Boy

August 2, 2011

“Do you wanna play barbies with me?”
“Uh…thanks, but, um, no. Wanna play with my army guys?”

Of course, I did. Are you kidding me?!

My brother and I played together all the time. I mean, not like there was anyone else around to play with, but still…I always wanted to play with him. He was my older brother! And crazily enough, he always wanted to play with me. Though not barbies. He drew the line at barbies. He’d play house, but not barbies. The four main events in our lives were sledding, riding bikes, playing with his army guys or his acquiescence to playing house, which meant him being “Junior Boy” and me being mom. That usually involved him walking around on his knees so we were at least the same height, and me bossing him around….hmmmmm…not much different than real life…

And then we grew up. Sledding went away, riding bikes turned into motorcycles, army guys turned into him actually being a Marine…but he was still Junior Boy. That one he never outgrew.

My brother left us 4 years ago today. At times it seems like yesterday, other times it seems like a lifetime ago.

I sit here at my computer today with a mixed bag of emotions. This year is tougher than others because I’m back in Austria – the same place I was when I got that horrendous phone call from my dad. Today is a day of reflection. While I hesitate to call it an “anniversary”, it is a day of remembering. It’s a time when I remember what happened, when I think about Chris – the good, bad and ugly:) – and allow it. The soul cannot live in perpetual sadness and grief, but a day of remembrance is a salve to the soul. It allows the soul to grieve, to cry, to laugh and remember. It needs that boundary to know that it doesn’t have to stay there forever, but it can rest knowing that the time is set aside for it to do what it needs to do.

I am blessed to have some wonderful friends around me here. There are a handful who know about today, and they have been extremely loving and caring. Like I told one of them this morning, what really counts is that I know that someone cares. Just a hug. Just a word of love. Just a little peck on the cheek. That’s all. It doesn’t need to be anything more. The toughest part about grief is no one really can empathize unless they’ve been there. So if you haven’t been there, just show some love.

I miss him more than I could ever express. The knot tightens in my chest and moves to my throat. But above that knot, my face can smile because I know this is not the end. I just have to wait awhile to hang out with him again…I can’t wait.

I love you, Chris.

Obit and my fresh reflections of 4 years ago.

A memorial webpage for pictures and stories.

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2 Responses to “Junior Boy”

  1. Tim Munsell Says:

    Well said love. I’m proud of you, I’m certain he is too.


  2. Absolutely beautifully written and heartfelt, Sarah. As you say, I can’t empathize,but I can definitely sympathize. I’m in Sarasota and you’re in Austria, but I give you a virtual hug and kiss on the cheek. You’re a remarkable writer and singer and person!

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