Art, Childhood Memories, Family, Friendship, London, Personal

Happy Birthday Josh

My brother Joshua Buck Riley would have been 24 today. Ironically, Ali was born the same year as him. As it stands, Josh remains 15, as he will forever. This is the ninth summer since he died and in just a few weeks time it will be the anniversary of his death. Every year around this time he spends more time on my mind. Perhaps the days and months inbetween he’s been traveling through my dreams.

I take him with me on my travels. He’s always watching over me, ever since the day I walked through the hospital corridor and felt him with me, his soul no longer occupying his body. He was my strength for the rest of my family as we made it through his death. And on June 9th, I always remember to celebrate his life and do something fun for myself as a way to do so, rather than sulk around in sadness.

Today we are going into the city to the Tate Modern. The Frida Kahlo painting exhibit begins today and we will be among the first to view fifty of her surrealist paitings. [Josh always used to occupy our little brother, Jake, while I would try to gain some solitude in painting on our small condo balcony in the summertime.] Then we will walk around in the sunshine. I plan to light a candle in remembrance of Josh at the Westminister Abbey.

Today is also the wedding anniversary of two of my dear friends, Betsy and Shonn. I think it’s been four years. But what is really exciting, is that on June 6th, Betsy gave birth to their first baby, a boy named Noah Charles, 6lbs 11 oz. And I hear through the grape vine that all are well. [Thanks Shay and Mel!!!] And in a weeks time I should be able to find out myself, taking a trip to Holland to give them all a great big hug after I arrive back in the states.

And there’s more good news. After a three day stint taking two long bus rides up to Dundee with a nice meal and good conversation in the middle, Ali and I arrived back from retrieving the rest of our things last night. As my computer woke up and I checked my emails, I noticed one from the editor of Glimpse Abroad, online magazine. My Mae Sot, Thailand piece has been published on their website complete with the pictures I submitted. My first professional writing piece, published! What a great day for it to come my way! Check it out! My brother would be so proud of me.

Happy Birthday Josh. Congratulations Bets and Shon on the new arrival. And keep on celebrating life. That’s why we are here. Now go read my article…

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