So, I was just finishing up work for the day, listening to some Skrillex to keep me pumped and on task. Skrillex pretty much always makes me think of my brother Russell. It’s just this thing, I just know that Russell would have been into Skrillex. He really would have liked dubstep, and been all emo and into it. That’s just kind of the teenager that he was.
My brother Russell died on September 19, 2006. He took his own life by driving his car, an early 90s Cadillac, off the edge of a cliff. He was 17. It was rash, impulsive, and the result of hormones and a teenagery love spat on Myspace (yes, Myspace…Facebook hadn’t even caught on yet). It changed my life.
July 2nd was Russell’s birthday. He would have been 25.
Liz asked me a few weeks ago what I think he would be like, or what he would be doing right now had things happened differently that day. I can’t say precisely what I think he would be doing, but I’d wager that it would boil down to one, or both, of two things: he’d be helping people in some way, and/or he’d be working with animals.
Russell was a big dude. Like, 6′ 4″ and 225 big. And, he was legitimately one of the sweetest, kindest, and most sensitive people I’ve ever met. That sensitivity didn’t serve him well as a kid in school with meaner, angry boys, or as a teenager…but it would have served him so much in life that followed.
And, that’s really the tragedy of the whole thing, isn’t it? That my brother ended life so early. Too early. There was so much left to be seen, and felt, and learned. Life really opens up in our 20s, doesn’t it? We learn how to act like adults, and all the privileges and responsibilities that come with that. We leave home, even if it is to return a short time later. We decide what we want to DO…who we want to BE. And, then, we struggle to live up to that decision, and we change our minds, and we get older. And, time starts to move faster, and we feel like we’re stepping back from life a little bit farther…we can see farther now. Our vision is wider. At 17, our faces are still pressed so tight and close, that it’s hard to see beyond what’s right now.
I wish my brother were still here.
And, I wish that I had written this blog on the day that he would have been 25, instead of today when he would have been 25 and 4 days. I didn’t mean to forget, but I did. That makes me feel guilt, and it also makes me feel the reminder that life never stops. The world doesn’t stop spinning. And, that’s just a fact. It’s undeniable. Perhaps that’s why I journal, because it freezes each day in a few hundred words before time rushes past, leaving that moment behind.
Tonight, I wish the capture the moment in time where Skrillex made me think about my brother, and how much I miss him. He was a sensitive, wonderful brother, the baby of the family, and the best sharer I’d ever met. If he were here right now, I’d tell him that I *did* watch Howl’s Moving Castle and it was wonderful.