I want to. I really want to and have one more chance tonight but I will not take it, it's too risky. I just can't. To share my heart on paper is one thing but to speak aloud to a room full of people is another. Particularly to the old friends and family members that were there that day, not my own wedding day but the day the mahogany box was carried and laid to rest beneath the soil beside a weeping willow overlooking a small pond. I go there every so often to sit and think, the breeze blows even in the summer heat and I watch fish come to the surface and shed tears and talk aloud. The only place where my thoughts become spoken words and it feels safe somehow despite the ending that matched no fairy tale. My brother Adam was gone after a year of the cancer that blew out his beautiful light.
This evening's wedding of our cousin, who was also Adam's roommate and closest confidante, is a joyful occasion and I want it to be remembered that way. I never had a chance to go to my own brother's wedding and this was almost as good. If I could trust myself to be funny and kind, a bit flippant and sentimental then I would have gladly risen and move forward but I can not. A year ago perhaps but not now, the last few months have been a time of disclosure for me that has lightened my heart but stirred the feelings that I had wrangled into my soul and insisted on their dormancy the last twenty years. No longer can I say that and the words I write are blurred now with tears. It is a repeated trend almost always when I write about the brother that made my life so perfect for the fifteen years I had him.
The last few days have been so lovely, full of laughter, teasing, rambunctious boys, sharks and minnows and impromptu soccer games. I want that joy to set the tone this evening and the new life my cousin and his wife will begin together. A sobbing cousin and left behind younger sister is not the way I want to be remembered. Instead, I will love and laugh and wipe away the tears and embrace the rare time we are all together with our children this weekend. The original number of five will reach seventeen today, despite the loss of our brightest light. I will make sure to catch the eye of my cousin, the boy that was left behind too, and I will toast him my smile and swallow the tears.