… my brother (the big one in the picture). My brother died in an accident right before Christmas a year and a half ago. At the time of his death we were estranged. He was an alcoholic and had a few run ins with the law eventually winding up a guest of the state a few times. When he died he was trying to get his life back on track but there were so many bad feelings between the two of us we hadn’t really talked. It hurt so much watching him destroy his life that it was easier to just let him do it and stay angry. I always knew he’d finally get it together and I’d have my brother back. Growing up in the country a lot of time, especially when we were young, he was my only playmate, and I his. He could always be depended on to be there in a pinch. When I got sick in college and they thought my liver might be shutting down he offered part of his.

I miss him now. Babies always loved my brother (dogs too). I guess they could tell he was actually a big push over. I always had thought that when I had a child, and that child grew up and did something stupid, Uncle Brad would be the one they could call. And he would come over and sit his little sister down and explain to her how it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, and it could be handled whatever it was and if that didn’t work pull out one of the many things he had in his arsenal of my past mistakes to bring me back to hard reality.

It’s 2am and I’m watching a special on Star Wars in the living room. I hope Jim doesn’t wake up because he’ll think I’ve lost it if he comes out and finds me crying on the couch. Star Wars was one of Brad’s favorite movies. Mom asked me to design the program for his funeral since none of the selections they had at the funeral home really suited him. I asked what she wanted for a quote or saying or something on the inside. At first she didn’t know, then we were in the kitchen and she was making dinner and she looked up and said, “I’ve got it, put ‘may the force be with you'”. So we did.


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