Going through family photos over the weekend, it was fun to look at pictures of my grandparents and some of their siblings at various stages of life. As children. As young adults. Wedding photos. In pictures with their own children. And finally, pictures of the people they were in my lifetime, looking the way I knew them.
Maybe that’s why today seems even sadder to me. When someone dies at the height of youth, that is the image you hold of them henceforth. Forever.
Today, my faux brother would be 45. It’s hard to even imagine him at that age. Would he be graying? Bald? Would he have packed on a few pounds or remained youthfully slim? Would he have gone back to college? What would he be doing today? I wonder about that sometimes.
Really my third cousin, our families jokingly referred to us as “the twins” though we were born to different parents, and almost four months to the day apart. Don’t misunderstand – I feel fortunate to have had him at all. And I am eternally grateful for those extra 15 years. (He more or less got a death sentence at age 7.) But 22 is so young. So young. He missed so much.
It’s been 23 years today since we last spoke. D*mn. How is that possible? Thankfully, I can still hear his voice – that memory hasn’t faded. I pray that it never does.