Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Joshy washy

{you can tell we're related by our identical large noses}

My brother hated the nickname Joshy washy but as his younger sister, it was my duty to torment him with it. As we got older, my brother and I were, for all intensive purposes, clones of one another with the same taste in music, art and hobbies. I think it was because of this bond that he became my biggest cheerleader. He not only had hopes higher than I could dream but he also had all the confidence that I could do anything. Everything a girl needs in a big brother. He was also a thrill seeker extradonaire. Which I am not by any means, but I loved to watch. His favorite hobby was windsurfing and one of my favorite memories was when he started as a young boy and I would join him and ride along on the front of the board. As the years passed, he went from amateur to teaching windsurfing at his university. Seven years ago, while away at grad school, he was killed in a windsurfing accident the day before he was supposed to come home to visit.

You always hear these stories but you never think it will happen to you, and sometimes it still feels like it didn’t happen. People ask me how I got past it and the truth is, I never did. It’s not something you get over or past. It’s something that you live with on a daily basis. The difference is that you make the choice of what you make out of the situation. You can wonder why something happened, you can question it and try to make sense out of it or you can pick yourself back up and keep going. I don’t mourn my brother anymore. These dates are no longer a sob fest in my house; feeling sorry for myself and asking “why me” questions. But I do remember him every day and I think that’s the important part. He was and still is an important part of my life and taught me so much about living life, seeking out adventure and being proud of who I am, inevitable flaws and all. It is these lessons that I will always remember and cherish...and his awesome salsa dancing skills.

Happy birthday bro, you’re still an inspiration.