Today is my brother J.J.’s birthday. He would have been 28. Twenty-eight years ago God brought the sweetest, funniest, and most loving person into this world. This person shaped me and molded me into who I am today. Sometimes I like to think that he was brought here just for me. To be my guardian angel. Like a messenger or something. To teach me about life and love. And when J.J. knew that I was ready to take on the world by myself, he left. I really do believe that sometimes.
I haven’t had a bad day in awhile. Just a lot of bad moments. These moments catch me off guard every single time because I forget that I actually lost him. I still think he’s out there somewhere…making someone laugh. I go about my day just fine. I make my breakfast, go to work, hang out with friends and than out of no where…boom. It hits me like train. It’s all random too. I’ll be folding shirts at work and I’ll think of him. I lose my breath sometimes just thinking that he’s really gone. The vivid pictures in my head won’t go away. Who? What? When? Where? And the biggest question of all…why? Why did he have to die. The last time I saw him replays in my mind over and over again. Why can’t I have that moment back? If I could have any moment in time back it would be that one. I would tell him that I loved him more than anything. I would hug him and probably never let him go. I would kiss him on the cheek one last time. I would probably laugh at one of his silly jokes. I wouldn’t say goodbye, I would say see ya. My biggest regret in my life was not doing any of those things. I have to live with the fact that I didn’t tell him I loved him when he left. Does he know?
November 7th will never be a normal day. Every year on this day I will always be in a state of wonder. What would he have wished for as he would have blown out his candles? What kind of car would he have driven? What kind of job would he have had? What girl would have his heart? What would be his favorite song on the radio? What would he have had for lunch today? Does he still like the color blue? Does he still love cheese on top of his soup? Does he like Taylor Swift’s new song? Would he like to go on a walk with me today? What does he want for Christmas this year? Is he happy?
I know I shouldn’t do that to myself. Trust me, I’ve tried pushing him away from my thoughts. I’ve tried skipping the songs that remind me of him. I’ve tried avoiding all memories of him completely, the happy ones and the sad ones. But it doesn’t work. I end up building everything up inside until I eventually explode. Talking about him is my therapy. If I had someone to talk to about him I would talk about him all day long. Another kind of therapy for me, as of lately, is that I like to put on a song that he would like and make up dances in my head that we would have danced to. Me and him just dancing hip hop or whatever routine we would wanna do. We would be totally in sync and just jamming out. We would be YouTube famous, I know it. I wake up from my daydream to find that it didn’t happen and it won’t ever happen. It’s when reality hits and I can’t stand it but for a second I’m completely okay.
He gives me these moments. Short but very very special. Moments of clarity and peace. I will keep them with me forever. In one of my recent dreams he told me, “Karissa, don’t worry about what happened. I’m okay. I’m okay.” He comes to me in my sleep when my reality is a nightmare just to see how I’m doing or to say I love you…and then he’s gone. He still continues to make me smile. How you ask? He always finds a way. Whether it’s a heart shaped cloud with a smiley face in the middle (yes, that actually happened) or it’s just the sound of his voice, he somehow manages to get a smile out of me. When J.J. was alive he gave me my favorite days and I’m so grateful for that.
28. I love you.