As I headed to Target today to brave the masses, I started thinking about my brother. For those who aren’t aware, he passed away last November from bone and lung cancer.
He used to say some of the most profound things to me. Completely out of nowhere. One night when he had come over to visit, he looked at me and said, “I still find it hard to accept that I can eat a gallon of ice cream for dinner if I want.” Because he was an adult now, and adults get to do what they want. Nevermind that he was almost 30. 😀
My brother, sister, and I all used to work at the same place (my sister and I were typesetters and my brother was the computer programmer/tech guy). Sis and I were hanging out in the back room with him for a little break, and he looked at us and said, “Just think… if a bomb went off right now, Mom would be childless.” Okay, a little dark, but still… things that make you go hmmm…
And the things he used to do to me when I was itty bitty little, like 5 years old. One time when I wouldn’t leave him and his friend alone, he found something resembling a coat hook in the carport and hung me up by my underwear to get me out of his hair. He got into a bit of trouble for that.
And once when my sister and I were sleeping in a camp bed on the floor, he put tuna fish in our ears and let loose 6 hungry kittens. He kind of got in trouble for that too… after my mother stopped laughing.
Here he is teaching my cat Zeus to read the newspaper shortly before Christmas dinner in 2000:
He also was the first to teach me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It was a lesson I learned well, way before I had ever heard of the book. And, true story, it’s all small stuff.
Yet, at the same time, it’s the little things that really matter in life, isn’t it. Such as a hug. Or a kind word. Or a smile. Or 5 minutes of your time.
In January, I ran my first race of the year in his memory:
My sister-in-law told me to look for a blue butterfly while in Maui as that would be a sign from Kris. I saw one blue butterfly the whole entire 7 days we were there… at mile 11… and anyone who runs half-marathons (as opposed to full-out marathons) knows the emotional breakdown happening at mile 11. I also saw a rainbow… on his 16th wedding anniversary.
So tell me, who have you hugged today?