My brother Josh’s birthday was on Monday, June 9th. He would have been 33! This photo was taken 30 years ago! In a time before car seats. In a memory I think I have. It could be a photo memory instead of an actual one. But I remember other moments where I took him under my wing as my baby brother. When he let me. I wish I could have done that when he was a teenager.
I remember playing tackle football instead of hanging the laundry. Big pushes on the monster tire swing. Or a wade in the creek with the water spiders and tadpoles. Riding bikes and flipping in the hammock.
When my brothers were up to their own mischief I used to make stories on my tape recorder and interview them. I found a tape some years back from the Christmas I got the tape recorder. I had captured Josh’s first sounds. First words. First laughter. With the sounds of Christmas cartoons and commercials blaring in the background. The proud and excited big sister.
You really don’t know the last time you will see someone. I didn’t say ‘I love you’. Or give him a hug. I didn’t even believe his apology to our brother Bill. I live my life differently now.
I had to dig through empty boxes and boxes heavy and full of journals and old photos to find this photo. I knew what I was looking for. This exact moment. This month is the time between Josh’s birthday and deathday. It’s a time I take to remember. The memories are further and further away every year. Some are clear and some are like this photo.
People remember Josh. His smile. His big heart. We can imagine what he would be like now. Or we can just remember his beautiful soul as it was then. Sometimes, I do both.