Ever since Thursday it seems like thoughts of Matt have surrounded me. Our kids' birthday parties bring him to mind because his kids are around the same age. I think about how nice it would have been to share these parties together. I had hoped that moving to Valdosta would mean seeing more of him and his family...by extension, OUR family. I had visions of our kids having a closer relationship and playing together.
Then, Justin and I attended a marriage seminar at church Saturday morning. This is a small thing but one comment that Donnie Hilliard made struck a chord with me. He said, "Families with small children in the home whose parents have been married 3-5 years are at highest risk of divorce." Matt had small kids. Matt had been married a little over 3 years. Given the reality I'm living right now, I wish he had just gotten divorced. Atleast then I'd still have my brother here.
Saturday night I had the opportunity to see Toby Mac in concert. It was wonderful. What made it even more meaningful is that Toby Mac was one of my brother's favorite artists. After hearing Mac live, it's easy to see why. I saw so much of Matt in Toby. Matt couldn't sing very well, of course, but the way they talked and their mannerisms favored somewhat. Mac's music was definitely Matt's style. I remember thinking, "If Matt were alive, I'd probably be calling him right now just to rub it in that I was here. I might even tease him about meeting Toby in person even though I didn't." Then I thought, "No. It would be so much better if he was here with us. There'd be no need to call. He could enjoy this concert with us and it would be so much more exciting because he would just be going crazy."
I couldn't escape his memory this morning either. I've written once before about how meaningful the song, "How Beautiful" is to me. It's become bittersweet. I walked down the aisle to that song right before I began a new life, arm in arm with my little brother. How ironic, yet fitting, that we should sing it in church today when the focus of the entire weekend has been about marriage AND at a time when reminders of Matt seem to be popping up left and right.
After church, we came home and I changed before fixing lunch. I just grabbed a pair of jeans and a t-shirt from the dresser without paying much attention. Wouldn't you know that the shirt I picked was one I got in 1998 when I went up to Ohio to watch Matt play basketball in the USA Junior Nationals March to Madness tournament. Every time I think of that trip, I'm reminded of Matt's shock as he took a huge gulp of his tea while we waited in a drive-thru line for the rest of our order. In disbelief, he said in all seriousness to the cashier, "This tea is not sweet." The look on his face was priceless. She just paused as a smile curled up her cheek and replied, "You're not from around here, are you?" For whatever reason, that conversation has always made me laugh. It's another small thing, but it's a sweet memory. No pun intended. ;)
Even though Jackson's already had his party, tomorrow is his actual birthday which means I'll be thinking of Matt again. Jackson's birth was a significant day in his life, too. That's the day he became an uncle for the first time. And what a proud uncle he was. He was so taken with him, wanting to hold him. Standing him up to get a good look at him and make him "dance". It was really cute and fun to watch.
My view of the world changed the day I lost my brother. It's as if I'd been watching a 3-D movie without the glasses and then someone offered me a pair. Everything suddenly became sharper, more vivid. Everything has more depth now. The only problem with this analogy is that I can't take the glasses off now. I can't go back to viewing the world the way I once did. I'll always miss my brother. I'll always wonder what might have been. I'll always wish for a different ending, an alternate reality. Yet hope springs eternal and I know I WILL see him again. In God's good time, I will celebrate with my precious, only brother once more. Until then, I will cherish the memories and moments that remind me of him. I will try to live every day to the fullest and never take another second for granted again. That's what God intended. And that's how I'll honor my brother's memory.
- I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)