I had something else in the hopper today, what with the start of the Final Four. But my sister dedicated her latest blog to her big brother -- complete with the style-forsaken picture from our childhood (be sure to check closely at the socks). Her post generated an email from one of her friends that completely changed my course.
A little over a year ago, an alum of my high school who'd returned to our school to teach/coach died unexpectedly. At the tender age of 33, he suffered an aneurysm while coaching a Junior Varsity game just after being diagnosed with leukemia. His little sister, who's friends with my little sister, wrote the following email to Melissa yesterday. I hope it touches your heart as it did mine.
"Hey! I've been reading your blog and keeping up with your precious 2(!) for many months now. I've really enjoyed it and felt like I've re-connected with you. Which is why I sent you a Christmas card this year. Hopefully I'll have a blog soon and we can interact more.
I've meant to comment for awhile, but I had to after reading the entry to Jim today. I decided to do a e-mail because I'm not trying to have a pity party for myself. I just wanted to say that although the specifics of your relationship are different that's exactly how I feel about my brother. No one can really understand certain parts of us the way our siblings can. And the big bro/lil sis relationship is unique. One of the hardest parts of losing (him) is the feeling of losing my childhood. There is no one left to laugh at my parents with, share old funny memories, etc. No one else "gets" it or me (at least that part of me.)
So, I'm not saying this to make you feel sorry for me or anything of the sort. I just want you to continue to cherish your relationship the way you obviously do. Keep it up. Be sure to never leave anything unsaid- although it's hard for me to imagine that being a possibility with the 2 of you. I had such peace in knowing that there was nothing left unsaid, that there were no problems in our relationship. I do wish we would have spent more time together. Although, I'm sure I could've never felt that we had had enough.
Anyway, I'm so glad that God gave me my big brother and I'm glad for you as well."
Ashley's right. Everyday is a gift and the greatest gift we can share with those we most love is the gift of our appreciation and affection. Just the verbal acknowledgement of love and acceptance, communicated with compassion and laughter, is what makes life valuable.
Have you told the people most dear to you that you love them?