Friday, July 24, 2009

With Hope

There is joy. Lots of it. I just needed to pay attention. To the little things. My youngest son's irresistible dimples. My oldest daughter's quiet and graceful blossoming. My middle girl's tender motherly care for her brother. The quick gleam of curiosity and mischief in one son's eyes. The determined focus of one boy--his stick-to-it-tiveness brings joy to my heart. A molten sunset on the horizon. The sound of waves crashing on the beach outside my tent, lulling me to sleep. My husband catching his first wave--three whole seconds of surfing. S'mores over a campfire. Reading a good book with no interruptions. Grieving with Hope. Not like the world mourns, but with eager expectation. Joy. In the morning. Thank you for answered prayers, Lord.

This week my heart welled up with joy each time I caught myself thinking of my brother. I was one blessed sister. It may be true that I think about Bryan more each day since he died than I ever did when he was an accessible, active, present fixture in my life. His face, his huge grin and long-lashed brown eyes, flashed before my mind so many times this week.

We vacationed right on the Pacific Ocean this week. Out-grown tent, over-used airmattresses, forgotten flashlights, icky-yucky gross bathrooms, expensive showers--the whole bit. I confess that Bryan and the beach really shouldn't go in the same sentence. He hated the sand. I have no memories, NONE, of us ever playing in the waves together or building sandcastles or burying each other in the sand. Last year Reilly had a beach birthday party and Bryan even conveniently got out of attending. Once he came after we had spent the day in the sun and surf but only because I bribed him with a campfire hotdog and s'mores. The man could not turn down hot dogs blackened on a coat hanger. With mustard.

But seeing Aidan race to the toilet barely making it reminded me of my brother's ability to time his dash to the bathroom just in the nick of time. He never wanted to interrupt his fun even when nature called. And seeing our cousin John come up from the shore made me take a deep breath and glance away. John and Bryan look so alike. Of course. His mom is my mom's sister and his dad is my dad's oldest brother. Even John's long toes in flip flops made me think of Bryan. And that tattoo--each member of John Jr's family memorialized Bryan forever with a tattoo. Listening to the Eagles with Bryan's Uncle Keith and his "nephews", Justin, Mark and Wyatt. Eating boxes mac n' cheese. Driving past D Street in Encinitas. A dozen different times a day I think of my brother. And I smile. He was such a great guy. I was so lucky to share my life with him. He brought me joy. And his memory still does. I can't wait to see him again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is such a wpnderful thing to have our memories.At times I can even smell my loved ones.May sound absurd to some but for me it is a comfort thing.Perhaps it is God knowing just when I need that!At times I see my Dads hands in mine just at the right time.I see more and more of my Mom every time I look in the mirror and at times it makes me cry,but then from the tears come happiness in the memories I was so blessed with.I know we will all be together again some time and that gives me hope and faith.It sounds as if you had a wonderful trip...can't wait to hear the stories.Peace and Love...Aunty Ingy

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!