Since our family lost a great person - my brother.
What makes it different this year then the other years since he passed away, is the day. When Jim died on Aug. 31, 2001 - it was a Friday. Well - today is Friday. So this afternoon around 1, I will take more than just a moment to say a prayer, converse to my "guardian angel" brother, and remember what a truly unique and special brother he was. Not just to me, but to my sister. She got to grow up with him, to see him change from kid to teenager to young man. By the time I was born, he was 21 and married - already through with the school stuff and poised on the brink of a (should have been) long, happy and vibrant life. Sixty-one years old is still quite young for him to have left us. There were many things left unsaid at his death. I wished I would have been able to tell him how important he was to me, how I wished I had not taken his being my brother for granted.
I miss hearing my brother's voice. I miss seeing new pictures of him. I miss getting emails from him. I miss the way he called me "Sis". I miss the fact that my kids didn't get to have their "Uncle Jim" in their lives longer. I'm sad that he hasn't been here to tell him stories about his nieces and nephew or about his great-nephew. I'm sad that he wasn't here for me to tell him about my youngest grandson. I'm sad that he left so many people who loved him when he died.
Now knowing that the pancreatic cancer would take him, I wished I had really (I mean truly) listened to his list of symptoms and complaints. Anyone who has lost someone vital to them will always do the "what if" or "I should have" or "if only".
Jim, I miss you.