I can understand why people put their dead loved one's stuff away--it hurts to look into those eyes in photos. To think again on the missing that is filling up your aching heart. To remember that he isn't here anymore to make you laugh. It is painful, I concede that point. But I still like him surrounding me. I don't want to forget him. I don't want it to be weeks or months or years without thinking about him. Thinking about Bryan and remembering his life helps me want to be a better person--more like him in a hundred different ways. So even though the price is high--that emotional rawness and freshness that comes from choosing to think about him and not just putting it all away because it hurts--I am grateful for the sweetness that comes with thinking on the good stuff about my brother. Thanks for doing that with me each day.
My kids get it. Kate wept for missing Uncle B last night. I consoled her and hugged her and cried with her and prayed for her. If it wasn't all out there for her to remember and acknowledge, then we couldn't share the consolation. Peter still recognizes his uncle's happy face on the computer and runs to point him out. Someday they will have these stories, the ones I have remembered here on this blog, to keep their memory fresh. I don't want to forget.
I was looking through his old Sadie Hawkins pictures (hi Salina!) and his watch caught my attention. It was one of those SWATCH ones with a guard on the top of the face. Again, an '80's thing. I never owned one because I am not a spatial-temporal person so time is no big deal to me. Neither is fashion. Bryan was big on both. He liked having the "latest" things. My dad has his son's jewelery box, a handsome, manly one, on his bathroom counter. I looked through it the other day. There are four watches in there. Nice ones. And rings and a dozen necklaces and bracelets. My mom wears the BK charm, that Grandma Birthday used to wear as a ring, around her neck on a silver chain. My dad wears the ring that Bryan special ordered when he was with me at the mall one day. He liked fine things. He took care of them.
All of this is so surprising to me. But not entirely, I have always known we were so different. I don't even own a jewelry box and even if I did, it would be pointless--I only wear my wedding band. But I like touching the things he took pains to chose and care for and wear with pride. It makes me feel good to have them close. I hope that someday my sons will have wrists hunky enough to wear those nice watches. Until then, it makes me happy that they are near and not packed away or given away. I guess we all grieve in different ways?