Everything along my life’s timeline has taken on a new meaning. I have an entirely new, albeit somewhat depressing, perspective on my past, present, and future.
Before my life turned upside down, my memories were of a warm, happy, innocent childhood. A childhood filled with much laughter, self-revelation, of a safe neighborhood where my friends and I could spend all summer playing outdoors, and of frequent fun family trips. Granted, my brother and I didn’t have the best relationship growing up. He was 7 years older and really wanted nothing to do with me during his high school years. That was fine though because his neglect helped strengthen my independence and imagination. Moreover, he was my brother and eventually our relationship would evolve and I would come to realize my family life was the foundation of my happiness.
So this was my past as I knew it. It was secure. It was sacred. It was the past, unable to be changed. Until now. Because my brother is not physically here with me, when I think of my childhood now, it brings tears to my eyes. My memories have become delicate snapshots in time that only I can see and cherish. No longer do I have the opportunity to reminisce with my brother about funny moments and family vacations. No longer do I have the opportunity to learn new insights into our upbringing, making our bond even stronger. No longer do I have the opportunity to ask him about his memories of his childhood. I am alone with my past, a past that he and I once shared. And the have become hallucinations, nearly unrecognizable, revealing a frightening reality of what was and what is.