I want the world to be gentle with me. Have patience. I'm forgetful. I get confused easily. I find myself unorganized at times. But sometimes I am completely focused. And sometimes, I just need help.
I want the world to know that my brother is on my mind every minute of every day. When someone talks about their brother, I instantly get a sick feeling in my stomach. I can't help it. I want to cry. I want to change the subject of the conversation or walk away. When people joke about death, or talk about it nonchalantly, I want to berate them. I know they're not being insensitive. They simply don't know about or understand my situation. Or maybe they forgot. I want people to ask me how I'm doing. No one asks me that anymore. Yes, it's been 3.5 years since my brother passed away. It hasn't gotten easier. It's not something that happened in the past, therefore insignificant. His death is with me always. The feeling of his absence is with me always. The reality of knowing he is not here on earth is with me always. He's not waking up, having lunch, petting his dog, checking out the forecast, laughing at something he saw, hugging someone, skating, driving somewhere, celebrating a holiday, throwing clay... At the same time, I do feel he is with me. He is with me as I'm looking up at the clouds. He is with me when I'm petting Mason. He is with me when I'm laughing. He is with me when I'm driving.
On July 4th— just a few weeks ago— I was standing outside on my balcony. It was around 9:15pm and the fireworks in Annapolis were already on their way. And all day long I was feeling my brother's presence. It's something I can't explain. If you feel these things, you know what I mean. And I was hoping I'd see a blue heron. (That's the sign/symbol of my brother for me. When I see a heron, it means sort of like, "Hi, sis!") But no herons were spotted all day. Then, I see this thing flying straight towards me as I stood there looking out, leaning on my railing. It was flying away from the black sky smudged with a haze of fireworks and smoke. I thought at first it must be an osprey since they're everywhere. No, it flew closer and closer, I could see it was a huge blue/gray bird, and it flew— I AM NOT KIDDING— right over my head, over my balcony. All of a sudden I couldn't hear the fireworks. Everything was silent but for the flapping of this heron's wings. I remember looking at his outstretched legs then he was gone, overhead, over the building. I think he may have even looked at me. It was one of those moments of pure disbelief and of joy and of shock. I couldn't speak. I almost fainted. Bob, I love you and I miss you.