The top photo is of the Ocean Bowl Skate Park in Ocean City, Maryland. The house, above, is a block away from the skate park. This is the location where I last saw my brother. He had been in OC with his long-time friend, Dave. I stopped by the skate park to watch them skate, as they've done for years. It was May of 2006. Specifically, the final vision I have of my brother is him kicking and coasting along on his skateboard on the street, in front of this house—which, if I'm not mistaken, was/is owned by a friend of his— while I drove away, waving good-bye. I swear to God (which I truly do not say lightly), I remember thinking it might be the last time I see my brother. I actually had that thought. I don't know why. I didn't know why at the time. I remember having that thought and skeptically dismissing it because it was such a crazy thing to think, ...right?
The snapshot I have of him skating by is so vivid and I will forever cherish it. I will never forget how he looked: smiling, optimistic, excited to go to the bowl and make more videos of Dave and the other guys skating the ramps; his hair was blowing away from his face as he kicked. He had such a great time in OC. It was a beautiful moment, really. If I had to choose one vision to be the last of my brother, it would either be of him throwing clay, fishing, or skating. Luckily, I have photos of him doing all of those things he loved, and a final, wonderful memory of him enjoying life and having a good time. Amen, bruddah, amen.