Saturday, January 12, 2013

I love you Caleb

What am I supposed to do with a wrapped Justin Bieber action figure?  It was one of three figures you were going to be the grateful owner of, and you would display them with pride I'm sure.  When your friends would come over and ask why you, a thirty-year old man, had three Justin Bieber action figures, you'd coolly reply, "Because my sister heard me say I couldn't stand the guy's music.  Now I have three of his actions figures, a notepad with JB's face on it, and a mini Christmas stocking she put my name on using glitter glue.  I know better than to say I dislike something like JB now."  And your friends would have said, "Your sister is funny and cool."  To which you would have replied, "Yes, yes she is."

I am wishing I would have made the present for you, that I had planned out in my mind.  I went so far as to buy some supplies to make it and even print out a picture I was going to use in the project.  It was going to say, "Eca Loves Bub."  Would it have changed the current circumstances?  I will never know.  But I would have had one last opportunity to show you I love you.

My recollection of our last conversation mainly involved me being brutally honest with you.  I told you if you were standing in front of me, I would actually punch you in the face.  You laughed and I told you I was serious.  I would literally punch you in the face for the pain and turmoil you've put your family through this last year.  You said ok.  I said I'm serious again.  You said you get it.  I said I hope you do get it because I really would.  I know there was lots more said in that conversation and I know I can't remember it and I know that will bother me forever.  I do know we both said I love you.  Had I known that would be the last time I spoke with you, well, I'd like to think it would have gone differently.  Let's be realistic, if it had gone any differently, it wouldn't have been real, it wouldn't have been an older sister talking to her younger brother telling him, get your head straight dude.

Now I'm sitting here, eyes swollen and stinging, trying to grasp what has happened to my family.  My family.  My family will never be the same.  I am beyond helpless right now.  Yes, I am sad you are gone and I can't call up my brother to talk about a movie or some cool new music I've discovered.  But I'm more sad for our parents.  I am a parent now, so the pain our parents are feeling is the most horrific thing I don't want to imagine.  Why didn't you call them?  Why didn't you call me?  Why didn't you call Jocelyn?  Why didn't you call somebody?  There are more questions then there will ever be answers.  I know that, I just don't understand that.

You were supposed to meet my new baby.  You were supposed to buy my baby a super cool onesie like you did for Rylee.  This time you were going to meet my baby in a normal place like the hospital or my house.  You met Rylee at a truck stop when you were learning how to be a truck driver.  Actually, that was pretty funny.

I am going to miss your laugh.  When you really laughed at something I said, man, that made my heart happy.  That added life to my soul.

Sorry I bossed you around a lot when we were kids.  Jocelyn and I made you go get us things quite a bit.  You did it so willingly, we just figured it was your job.  Sorry I punched you in the nose and made it bleed when you wouldn't leave the fort I made for myself in the garage. 

Thanks for making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.  Thanks for always being super cool around my friends.  I love that my friends liked hanging around with you.  Thanks for introducing me to Kerouac, Steinbeck, Melville, and Miles Davis.  Thanks for going to concerts with me.  Thanks for the goofy things you'd do in pictures so I could use up some film.

I'm running out of words right now.  I know I won't be able to go to sleep tonight but my brain doesn't want to think about this day anymore.

I want to think about swimming in the summer so much that our hair had a green tint to it.  How we convinced Mom to take us swimming for the fourth day in a row.  Then we would run upstairs singing the Pointer Sisters' song "I'm So Excited" as we stripped and left our clothes behind like a bread crumb trail on the stairs and got in our bathing suits so fast, it was like we hadn't been swimming in a month.

I want to think about how you hid on the top shelf in the linen closet when we played hide 'n seek.  You climbed like a monkey and contorted to fit in that small space like a carnival attraction.
I want to think about our attempt at a haunted house in the ginormous room the three of us shared.  You would squeeze behind your hide-a-bed drawer so you could push it out as if a ghost propelled it.  We'd make oooh-ahhh noises from our hiding places convinced we were scaring Mom and Dad.  We impressed ourselves.

The day you rode your bike like 37 miles as if it was a walk in the park.  
I want to think about you, the genius, who couldn't figure out how to buckle the seat belt in my '82 VW Rabbit.  Remember we named that car together?
Your epic house of cards/candy house you made.  Now that was thinking outside the box.  I was so bummed I missed the part where you blew it up.

The day Beatrice the orange cat brought home a squealing injured bunny.  You took care of it when Dad wasn't home.  It was the manly thing to do and you stepped up.

In the summer, when Mom was at work, we'd made our morning trips to Albertson's to acquire two-liter bottles of Sunkist (one for each of us), sourdough bread, turkey, and Big League Chew.  We made sandwiches, watched 101 Dalmatians, drank Sunkist until our eyeballs vibrated, and then attempted to fit the entire bag of B.L.C. into our mouths.  We quickly realized we couldn't chew the whole bag and lost all it because we had to spit it out. 

I will never forget you making a sandcastle with Rylee the first time she went to the beach.  She taped this picture up in her room just the other day.  She said, when she looked at it, she missed you.  I said I did too, but we would see you soon since we didn't get to spend Christmas together.   How strange to think the next day I would find out I would miss you forever.

I believe you knew you were loved.  I believe you loved our family.  But my heart is broken, and I know it will never be the same without you, I don't know any other way to say it.