Today was my brother's birthday. Birthdays are always noted in my family. It's a complete violation of family rules to miss a birthday. My brother was almost always the first one to call me on mine, and I always called him on his. I would always ask, what are you going to do for your birthday? And no matter what else happened on his special day, dinner would always be tacos. He loved them. You would be amazed at how many tacos this skinny guy could pack away.
Monday will mark one year since I last saw my brother. The first anniversary of his death is rapidly approaching. Have I cried this week? Yes. Do I feel like crying today? Sometimes. Do I miss my brother? Terribly. Life rarely goes according to plan. Things don't always work out the way we would like them to, and sad things happen that are completely out of our control. I wish more than anything that I could call and talk with him, wish him a happy birthday, and laugh that he is once more having tacos for his birthday dinner.
But I can't. And I never will again. This is a moment of choice for me. I can choose to suffer, or I can choose a beautiful state.
I choose the beautiful state. To do less dishonors the kind of life my brother lived. It would also just piss him off if he knew I was suffering because of him.
So today I choose to remember a smile that lit up the room. I choose to remember a man who had a keen intellect and a wicked wit. A man who treasured time with his God and his family above all else. I choose to celebrate the memories I have of a brother who loved bad puns, practical jokes, music, and being alive. I choose to honor his memory by smiling and enjoying the sunshine and spending time with my husband.
I will not go to the cemetery, and I will not grieve. Not today. Today, I will celebrate that he lived. And for dinner tonight, I will have tacos with my bittersweet tears.
Happy birthday, Clyde.
Board certified executive coach, mentor and life strategist.
"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
--Norman Vincent Peale