Sunday, April 03, 2005

Forever Young

Today would have been my brother's 22nd birthday.

Five years ago, on Christmas Eve, I received a phone call from my father. It was the first time in my life I've heard him cry. He told me that there had been an accident.

My brother was attempting to cross a divided highway with three friends on his 4-wheeler. He rolled to a stop in the median, looking for traffic, but unknowingly his line of sight was blocked from his friends 4-wheeler to the left. He never saw the Dodge pick up traveling at 65mph. The driver saw him, but it was too late.

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I'm the first to admit that my brother was a wild child. At times he was even reckless, throwing caution to the wind. He lived with my father, I with my mother. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've wondered if things had been different if I was more of an influence in his life. What if I'd just taken him aside and "talked" some sense into him? Would he have ever calmed down?

I remember the viewing the most. I think his entire high school showed up. I didn't realize until that day how many peoples lives he touched. The man driving the pick up came up to me with his wife and introduced himself. He broke down as I extended my hand. "It wasn't your fault." I told him. And it wasn't. It was an accident.

My father still visits the cemetery each Sunday. I visit whenever I'm in that part of the country, but unfortunately, it's not that often. I try my hardest to live my life to the best of my ability for him. Seeing the things he'll never see. Doing things that he'll never get to do.

This is why I push myself. This is why I stop just to appreciate life once in a while.

Here's thinking about you Bro...