I went to your grave today.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be...it's the first time in about a month that I had visited, and it was easier. I'm finding it easier to laugh about things you did that made me so mad when you did them. Remember the time you and Jimmy Martin took my Boston album?? I never did find that, but if you enjoyed it, it's ok with me. Remember the time you stopped the truck on the railroad track with me in it - and the TRAIN was coming? It's a wonder, little brother, that Dad didn't have a big brown stain in the seat I was sitting in - you honestly scared the hell out of me that time. Never did understand why you did it. Now, I'm not laughing about that one, just shaking my head. Which brings to mind the time you took me out on the Gator - how long ago was it? Maybe a year ago...and that cliff, just before we reached the sandpits - you stopped on the very edge of it. I was afraid to move for fear we'd topple on over, but you laughed...Apparently, you liked living on the edge more than I do. You got a rush from things like that. You said so, yourself. I'm not like that...I prefer a little safety and a lot of sanity!
Remember when you took me one Thanksgiving to the tree stand you used for deer hunting. We climbed up in that thing, and you told me how much you liked the peace of it all, even when there were no deer around. You watched the birds, racoons...whatever happened along. I remember how nice it was to be there, to connect with nature.
I remember the birdfeeders you bought, and filled, and enjoyed. I remember the trees and flowers you planted. The twisted filbert is still living, just up the driveway. Your bearded irises have bloomed, and now a hundred others that I don't know the names of are springing up and out and decorating the back yard.
I was afraid I would forget the sound of your voice and the things you did, but you know what? I won't. I thought I would need this journal to maintain a connection with you, but I don't need this, either. It still isn't easy, but it's a tremendous sight better than the initial shock of your death, and the deep pain that ensued after the numbness of it wore off and reality and finality set in. I'll only see your face in photographs and videos. I know we'll never sit across a table from each other and laugh again, and you'll never take me around your yard and show me everything that's growing or tell me how beautiful you think it all is. But you did those things already, and I remember and will never forget. And when the wisteria blooms and its fragrance fills the air, I'll think of you. You'll always be a part of us, you just won't be here, physically.
I'm not deserting you, and don't love you a bit less than I did when you were here, but I don't think I need to write letters to you.
This was just a bookmark, a place to put all that love that some think has no place to go after the loss of someone important in their lives. Steve, I know where that love goes - right where it always was, and higher and deeper, and a universe wide.