Sunday, October 14, 2007

happy birthday, little brother

This is how I like to remember Michael: boyish, flippant, and self-assured. Always ready with a smart-ass comment, a spot-on impression of some comedian or other, or a witty observation.
I miss my little brother. Especially on those "marker" days, those anniversaries, holidays, and birthdays.
Michael would have been 33 today, had he not been so haunted by the demons and shadows that slowly ate away at his vitality, his self-image, and his belief that he could ever pull himself out of the dark depths of his addiction and into the world again.
But he never lost his humor. During his worst periods, he was still as funny as hell. Joey once said that, at times, you wanted to hate him, but when confronted with that cocky smile, you couldn't. You just wanted to throw your arms around him and say, "Oh, Michael."
With each year that passes--almost four years now since he died--I am more reminded of those childish qualities that drew people to him, even people who swore they would never speak to him again. And I still look for reasons, and I still beat myself up and tell myself I could have been a better sister, less the advocate of "tough love," more the gentle guardian.
And I look into Dylan's eyes and see the resemblance, and I wonder if I he can sense the intensity of my love, even though I know that a parents' love, for as much comfort as it can provide, can never be a savior.
And I lament the fact that Michael never met his beautiful niece and nephew, that he will not meet Joey's son, who is soon to arrive.
And sometimes, in those moments, I feel panic that Dylan and Alexa have only each other.
And I wish that they could have met their impish, frustrating, magnetic, and maddeningly funny uncle.
I love you, Michael. Happy Birthday.

2 comments:

Shannon said...

Oh Tricia - very well written - beautiful. I can barely type through the blurry vision. Happy Birthday indeed.

c said...

sweet cousin Trish,
I was touched to read your tender sentements.
I regret that I never knew your brother. You give a terrific description, though. You give him immortality that way. What a good big sister.
miss you,
love Creamy