as a kid growing up, you don't tend to think about the future unless it's thinking about what you want to be when you grow up, how far away your birthday is or when christmas is gonna get here. at least, that's all i can remember thinking about when it came to the future. you don't think about things like death or losing a loved one.
i never once thought that i would never get to see my big brother again. my best friend. it pains me to write that. even after almost 11 years of him being gone, it still hurts.
today is his 30th birthday. 30. he died when he was 19. and i hadn't actually seen him for a couple of years before that. my heart still feels like breaking whenever i think of him. i've said it before on here, but i don't normally feel strong enough to look at pictures of him. i'm upset with myself for that. the pictures on this blog post are the only pictures of him that i have.
tonight we planned on having taco salads for dinner, like i do every year on his birthday and the day that he died. we woke up this morning to snow, snow that just kept coming down all day long. justin was supposed to go to the store to get lettuce and a few other items that we needed in order to make those taco salads. that didn't happen. we had burritos instead.
justin asked me tonight if taco salads were my brother's favorite food, or if it was just any variety of mexican food. i can't remember if they were actually his favorite or not. i've always thought they were but i could be wrong. i always go back to one memory i have, from the last time that he came to stay with us. we were sitting in the dining room, just me and him, eating our dinner of taco salads. mom and don were eating in the living room, courtney and cody had already finished their meals and were out back playing kickball or something. we were on our second or third helping and we decided to have a race to see who could finish theirs the fastest. i think. we may have been betting on who could eat the most. i'm not sure. whatever it was, that memory is one that i remember most frequently. i don't remember how the meal ended, just that we went outside after and joined our siblings in whatever game they were playing.
i have other memories, sure, but that one sticks out in my mind. and i feel like it's starting to get hazy. that was probably 13 years ago, at least. 13 years is a long time to remember something so small. and it kills me to think that there may come a point in my life where i can't remember it at all. and i guess that's why i write my blog? to remember. everything. even the smallest of memories. like a particular night that chad hugged me so tight after he got off the phone with his mom. or the way he spoke, with his southern drawl. or the way he said grandmother. and how he taught me to put ketchup on burritos, which i still do to this day. and playing basketball together on the street outside. and him playing barbies with his little sisters, and cars with his baby brother, and introducing us to rap music and jnco jeans and wrestling. and making sure boys in my grade knew that he was my big brother and they better not do anything to hurt me. or the way he laughed. how his entire face lit up, his beautiful beautiful face. his perfect smile. his hair that was always done just so.
i never, ever, want to forget him.
happy birthday chad. i love you so much and miss you like crazy. i hope you had the best 30th birthday party anybody could ever have.
^^first day of first grade and preschool, respectively.
^^playing with dolls, because his sisters asked him to
^^my 14th birthday, i think
^^he drew this for me, and i love it so much
^^his senior picture, his last school picture