October 08, 2000

Tangshin-ul sarang hamnida (Tahng-sheen-ule sah-rahng hahm-nee-dah) I love you.

Letter to my brother.

It's a letter to my brother that died. How's that for just laying it all out there? I promise, I'll be better tomorrow.

Dear J-bird,

It's been nine years since I last saw you. In a few months it will be two years ago that you died. In a few months it will be a year that I've known you were gone. Do you know that I know now? Is that what helped Yvette and Monica and Dad find me? Did you feel that I had the right to know, to give me the peace of mind to stop searching for you and start mourning you? Do you know how big that hole in my heart is now? Or that I can't seem to find a way to fill it? I never got to see you all grown up and on your own. I have heard bits and pieces of stories about how you got into some trouble, but I don't care. We all made mistakes in our lives. You were happy in Florida, finally getting your life in order. I would have liked to have known you again before you died. You were always the one that I was closest to, the one I always looked for.

The day I found out about you was so strange. The phone kept ringing and they kept hanging up. Finally I answered it myself, and I heard a woman's voice whisper "Oh my god" and then she hung up. It rang again. I answered again. Then I heard Dad's voice. Even after all this time, I knew it was him. I was ready to shut down emotionally as usual when talking to him, but none of the accusations or nasty comments came. Instead he told me how glad he was to have found me, and where did he call to, and how Yvette had found my account on AOL, the one I never use or check. He told me it was Yvette who had been calling, and how she didn't have the nerve to ask WildChild to speak to me. How she freaked out when I answered and couldn't talk to me, knowing what I didn't yet know. And then he told me about you. That you had died 13 months ago, just after Christmas. How your heart just couldn't take it anymore. How you'd had the massive stroke on the operating table and became paralyzed. How Monica and Yvette were there to be with you within hours. I'm really glad for that.

Yvette has a very hard time talking to me about you, and I understand. In some ways she was more of a mother to you than a sister, and losing you was almost like losing a child. Monica has written me some of the most beautiful email about you. About how she laid with you on your bed, and whispered in your ear how much we all love you. That she included me there means more to me than she will ever know. She said you seemed calmer, that your muscles all relaxed when they were there with you. She told you it was OK for you to go. They knew that you weren't in pain, but that you would never wake up. She told me how Dad couldn't be in the room when they turned off the machines. How they just laid with you on your bed so that you weren't alone in your last minutes here. Oh how I wish I could have been there, to tell you myself how much you mean to me, how much I love you, how sorry I am that I left you like I did.

They had the service for you on the beach. I know how much you loved the ocean. I'm glad that you had the foresight to discuss with someone what you wanted in case something happened to you. The pastor said many wonderful things without going too much into religion. I'm happy to hear that, I know you held many of the same beliefs that I hold now. To know that you were scattered in the ocean brings me peace.

I feel selfish now. I want you back! It's not fair to have your life cut so short! You should be here to laugh at my haircut, make fun of my clothes, make up silly jokes with me, be my mirror. You were always the one to tell me "bull shit" to my face. I miss sitting across from you at the table and drinking coffee and telling silly stories. I miss you and there is nothing I can do to change the fact that you aren't here. That I'll never find a phone number for you, to call and surprise you. That I'll never get a world famous J-Bird hug while you whisper in my ear that you love me. No more hugs. That hurts the most. I wanted a chance to tell you one last time that I loved you, how proud I am to be your sister. I want one more hug.

I still think about you a lot. There are times when it doesn't seem real, that you are gone forever. I wish you could see WildChild now. You would be so proud of her. She reminds me of you in so many ways. She has our smile, which makes me happy. She stood next to me at my computer and hugged me when Monica emailed me the pictures of you that she'd scanned. I couldn't stop crying. She's asked me lots of questions about you, and said she would have liked to have met you. She would have loved you as much as I do.

Good night, dear brother. Know that you are in my heart every day. I'm glad you are one of my angels. You brought my sisters back into my life, and I promise you, I won't fuck it up this time.

Posted by rowEn at 12:48 PM | Comments (2153)