Tomorrow is your birthday - you were supposed to turn 31.
I miss you. I miss knowing that whatever else might have been going on in our lives, that tomorrow, I would dial your number and wish you a "Happy Birthday!" and would hear your smile through the phone.
I've been waiting for you to send me some sort of sign, a peace offering, smoke signal - anything to let me know that you're well and safe and happy. One morning, I heard an owl hooting and thought of you. But dude, it was FAR too early for you to be up and hooting, so I chuckled a bit, missed you more.
Some people watch for pennies, but you never had any money, so they're out. Others wait to hear a favourite shared song, but Cypress Hill isn't on my playlist, so it'll be a long wait, eh?
There's a guy here in Belleville - every time I see him, which is about once a week, in random places, like the grocery store, or walking his dog by the Moira River - he reminds me of you and I catch my breath, thinking, "Andrew!"
And then I feel crazy, because he's not you and I know it, but I was hoping SO hard...
Was explaining thunder and lightening to Matthew last week - told him that angels high, hiiiiiiiiigggh in the sky were having a party and the sound of thunder was them laughing and lightening was the flash of their smiles.
The next day, he told Luke not to be afraid of the thunder, because "it's angels, 'Ukey and they're having fun up there. Uncle Andrew's there, too...high, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigghh in the sky."
And I laughed so hard, hiding on the landing above them, listening. Andrew? High? Never! HA!
Interesting fact: November 30th (which is my birthday, in case you forget) is also St. Andrew's Day. Isn't that something? Connected we were. Are. Always.
Shit, Bamboo. It was supposed to be you and me, brother-mine. You and me, the chosen ones, forever. Remember? You and me, arguing over who gets the stupid "Cows" portrait when Mum and Dad have gone on ahead of us. You and me missing them, instead of this.
Wishing your life had included us more.
Wishing our lives still included you.
I love you. Know that. Hold it close and never, ever forget it. I loved you even when I hated you and wish you'd have stayed with us in Newcastle. Wish you were here to know Luke and watch him swagger through his days, so much like you as a toddler, it makes my heart ache sometimes.
Wish you could see Matthew, growing like a weed and chattering incessantly, all day long. He talks about you every so often and it pleases me that he remembers, even though it breaks my heart that he only has memories now - his, mine. Watch over them, please, from wherever you're perched, chilling, free.
Whisper sweet dreams to Mum, Andrew. And watch over Dad, who's bearing up, but is so sad.
This is harder than I'd ever, NEVER imagined. It was supposed to be you and me.
Blessed be, my baby brother. Always, I love you.