Yesterday would have been my brother’s 63rd birthday. He died in 1991 at the age of 44. There are four of us kids. Dave was the eldest, then me, then my two sisters. He fought long and hard against the illness that ravaged him and we were devastated when he left us. I miss him every day. Yesterday was also his youngest son’s birthday – so young when Dave died, now a husband and a father of a beautiful baby girl.
Love and loss. Those two words have consumed my thoughts lately. In any given moment, I find myself thinking of those I have lost – recently and 19 years ago. I’ve had to fly across the country to work, leaving my husband behind as he is mourning the loss of his father. It is too soon for me to be away. And now I am here, in San Diego, where my father-in-law and two of my great friends lived. My father-in-law died first, then within a week or so, Craig and Raul left us. I attended a memorial for one of them last Monday. There will be another memorial to attend on May 24th.
At the theater, every place I look is full of memories of my friends. The rehearsal hall, the offices, the theater – I spent countless hours with them here. When I am lucky enough to run into someone who has worked at the theater for a long time, our conversation turns to memories of these dear men. There are memories in every wall, prop, table, and stage.
This is the first time I have traveled back to San Diego that my father-in-law isn’t here. Or Craig. Or Raul. It is a bittersweet time. I miss them. I miss my brother. I grieve.
Yes, there are wonderful memories. Yes, I can smile at humorous remembrances. But more than anything, I feel a deep sadness. My brother’s birthday seems to have intensified that sadness, that grief.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts – for giving me a safe place to write what is in my heart.