Brotherly Love

Dear Tim,

I gotta tell you, I’m sick of writing these letters. It’s hard enough to write one to Dad every year, let alone write one to you. I mean, let’s be honest, when I started this blog, I really had no intention of using it as a vehicle to write letters to my family members who had passed away.

It sickens me to actually sit here and write this, because in doing so, I have to admit again that you’re not here. And that you haven’t been here in a year. I know I have no reason to even say this, but I still find myself getting mad at you for dying. Not upset. Not frustrated. (Well, OK, both of those.) But, mad, too. You were the leader of the family after Dad died. You were the one we looked up to. You were the one we looked to for approval (at least I did).

Now what?

We had a tough day yesterday, Tim. It was Father’s Day, and Tom had a graduation party for Ryan. Sue and Brendan have been having a tough time this week, and I know today won’t be easier for any of us. I was able to get Brendan’s mind off things for a little bit, though. I took him to see Billy Joel last night. He loved it. He was so excited to hear Piano Man, and when Billy played it, I couldn’t help but look at Brendan when Billy sang, “…cause I know that it’s me they’ve been coming to see, to forget about life for a while.”

Brendan finishes eighth grade this week, Tim. You’d be proud of him. But I worry about him. I worry that he’s starting high school next year, and he doesn’t have his dad to be there for him. I need to do more for him, Tim. I need to be in better touch and do more with him like the concert last night. I need to do it for him. I need to do it for Sue, to give her a break. I need to do it for you, and I also need to do it for me. I mean, he’s your son. How could I not? I will try, big brother. I really will try. He’s talking about playing football next year. Maybe I can use that as the perfect thing to connect with him on a more regular basis.

I wish you could meet your niece, Tim. Erin is our little angel, bringing us so much joy last year — particularly because you went and died within a week of  her birth. Damn you! Seeing the way you played with Lauren, I know you would love playing with Erin, Tim. She loves peek-a-boo! And one day, I’m going to tell her all about her Uncle Tim.

A lot of people are going to be thinking about you today, big brother. You touched so many. I’m sure the folks at your work are having a tough day, just like the rest of us. It’s been eight years since Dad died, and it still doesn’t get any easier. 

The only thing that makes me happy about today? While we have each other here, you and Dad have each other in heaven.

I told you already that I hate writing these letters. Today is no different. Writing this does do one thing, though — it connects me with you. And I’ll do anything that connects us again. So until I join you one day (which is hopefully a long, long, long way away), this is the best we’ve got.

Miss you, big brother.



6 Comments on “Brotherly Love”

  1. penelope says:

    I am sorry about your brother. I will be thinking about you and your family today.

  2. elizabethews says:

    I’ve been thinking about you all weekend and you and your family are in my thoughts today.

  3. JenBun says:

    Lovely, Mike. Just lovely.

  4. Sara says:

    A truly beautiful tribute to your brother, a man so obviously loved and missed. I am thinking about you, your family and especially your brothers children today.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Mike. The tears. At work.

    Lovely tribute.

  6. Anna says:

    Oh I wish all those things for the ones left behind, too. I wish it could be different. But I am glad that Tim’s family has you to be there for them.

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