I came across a box today. A box of memories. The box was dusty, purposefully hidden away in the forgotten corners of my mind. Instead of shoving it back where I found it, I sliced it open. The contents spilled out at my feet, and I was amazed at how much could fit in such a small box. Words, smells, emotions, textures, all begging to be felt, to be remembered.
He was in this box. Eric. My brother. I miss him. I miss him. Afraid I’ll soon no longer be able to conjure his face, his laugh, his mannerisms in my mind, I must unpack these boxes. I can’t move into my own life until I do.
This process will be painful, both to write, and probably to read. This story is mostly tragic, mostly sad. Some bright spots, some hope, but mostly tragedy. This isn’t one of those things that “I wish hadn’t happened, but I’m so glad it did.” I wish it hadn’t happened, and I’m not glad it did.
I considered starting a separate blog, but decided against it. After all, his story is my story. It shaped who I am. And although it was a definitive period in my life, it does not define my life. I will still share my experience with motherhood, the occasional recipe, and some completely random posts. I will proudly share the happy stories, the mundane stories. I will give my children a sense of normalcy, even if I have to fake it.
Eric’s story won’t necessarily be told in chronological order, and my interpretation of events may be a little different than others. If you know my family, you probably already know some of our story. The short version: my brother, my intelligent, funny, generous, amazing brother was “practically raped” (his words) by a Catholic priest when he was only 12 years old. Seventeen years later, he took his own life. The pain was too much. But there’s more, so much more.
Nearly 13 years later, the gaping wound in my heart still bleeds. It’s slowed to a trickle at times, but if agitated, it hemorrhages nearly uncontrollably. The one thing I hope to accomplish is personal healing. That’s it. Well, that’s mostly true. I want to reach others, to help others, but don’t want to be discouraged if that doesn’t happen. But I so hope it does.
I came across a blog post today about fulfilling the mission of your blog’s tagline. What are you promising readers if they stick around?
Mine is spot-on. When life gives you a story, tell it. So, I am.