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To the Brother I Wish I Knew

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          I still remember that day. The sun had just risen, and I hadslept in our grandparent’s room that night because I had been having nightmares;little did I know that the true nightmare hadn’t even begun yet. I woke up tothe sound of our mother’s voice piercing through the walls of the house. Inever knew a scream could fill me with such despair and fear, but her screamdid. Our grandmother and grandfather woke up to it too, and soon enough theywere sprinting out of the room begging me to stay right there, and not move amuscle. I stayed knowing that what was outside that room was scarier thananything I had ever faced. However, soon I got restless, and I wanted to helpso I walked to the door of our grandparent’s room and looked outside to see mendressed in red carrying bags rush into your bedroom; Mom was on the floorscreaming. They said you had stopped breathing. They told our mom they dideverything they could, but they were too late. You had 7died in your sleep thatnight. 

                Iremember your funeral too. I was only 6, but it’s amazing how some memories canstill haunt you even after 14 years. I remember thinking about how small yourcasket was, and sitting there confused as to why you weren’t going to be aroundanymore. It didn’t make sense. You were just a baby. I didn’t even realize thatit was possible for people to die after being on this Earth for only 18 months.To be honest, even 14 years later, I find myself wondering sometimes how andwhy you were taken from us so soon. I will never understand. None of us will. 

                I onlyhad you here with me for 18 months. I never got the chance to know you, to growup with you, or to love you. I never got the chance to fight with you overtrivial matters like the television remote or make fun of you when you gotcaught kissing the girl you sit next to underneath the table on your first day ofkindergarten class, or watch as you walked down the aisle of the Church toreceive your First Communion or your 8th grade diploma. You were never able toexperience the joy of our family vacation to Disney World, or threaten everyboyfriend I ever had with physical violence if he ever hurt me. You never gotto live. You never even had the chance. 

                I’msorry we never talk about you anymore. I just think it’s too painful for Momand Dad or honestly too painful for any of us. I think it’s just easiersometimes. You’re always in the back of our minds though, I promise. I knowyou’re always in the back of mine. Sometimes, even years later, it stilldoesn’t feel real. I never realized how much something like this could affectsomeone even if they were just starting kindergarten when it happened, but itstill affects me. I still get angry knowing that you never got the chance toexperience the wonders of life. I get angry knowing you never got the chance togrow up. I get angry knowing you never got the chance to live. Most of all, Iget angry knowing that I never got the chance to know you. 

                I knowit’s stupid, but sometimes I wish that there was something I could’ve done tosave you, or if there was something any of us could’ve done to save you. Deepdown though, I know there was nothing any of us could’ve done. We didn’t havethe power to heal you. We weren’t God. I have to think that there was some goodto come out of this tragedy. I have to think that there is a heaven because thethought of you being anywhere else or nowhere hurts too much. I have to believethat the world is still good, and that in some ways you still shine light ontoit, even in its darkest days. I have to believe that you’re still there. 

                Whereveryou are though, I feel some comfort in knowing you now have the most amazingperson looking out for you and protecting you: our grandma. Her time ended on thisEarth with our family, but her time with you is just beginning. She’ll care foryou more than we can, and she’ll make sure that you’re okay until the timecomes for us to see you again. Until that time comes just know that I’ll neverstop being your big sister and that we’ll never stop loving you.


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