I was thinking about my little brother last night. Every so often, memories come flooding back to me of him. I remember floating down Canyon Creek on our inner tubes when we were kids. I remember him being so obnoxious! I remember snubbing him with my best friend... we would make him play the girl or the homeless kid... the crappy parts. And then I remember the last time I saw him. I remember that he was stationed on the Oregon coast and was nearby and wanted to see me. At first I wanted to tell him no or make up an excuse, but for some reason I really wanted to see him. I talked hubby into driving over there and borrowing money for gas, but Sean surprised us instead. He came here. We ate lunch at Shari's and he got to see his little niece. He showed me his rippling abs and gave me one of his patches. That was the last time I saw him. That was October. Two months later he was dead. Two months later he was gone. Two months later he did the unspeakable... something that I will never understand... Something that although I saw his unmistakable high hairline and freckled nose sticking out of the casket that day at his funeral, that I will never believe.... he committed suicide. I still don't believe it. I still expect him to call me and annoy me. I expect to see his name on the phone and think, "Oh great! Sean has something to say that will annoy me!"... I regret saying those things and feeling those things. Of course, I thought he would live to annoy me until he was forty. Just like any good little brother should. I still don't believe it and I still don't understand it. The good thing about dreams is that I get to relieve that last hug from October over and over. As often as I want. I miss my brother. I love my brother. The hardest thing about all of this is not the fact that I will never get to see him again or that I will never hear his voice again... I think that it's the fact that I don't know where he is. A part of me wants to believe that he cried out to God in his final breaths. I heard once that strangling deaths are long and drawn out. I pray he had time to realize his sin and cry out for forgiveness. But a part of me remembers his bitterness toward God and I think he did this in spite of God and he would have done anything but admit he was wrong. I really hope that the former is true... that he is with God. I guess only time will tell. Some day I will be in heaven... but I think I will be too overwhelmed with the wonderful and awesome presence of God to search for my brother. There is no pain in heaven. So maybe I will forget about the pain of losing my brother and think on the joy of the Lord instead. And maybe in the meantime I will have years to heal from this pain and sadness.