Sunday, May 22, 2016

Birthdays and Balloons. Or: Ode To My Comic Book Brother

How do I tell you about my comic book brother?
Today's his birthday, the 46th from birth and the 15th from death.
15 seems like an eon, "get over it already!", 
But you can't get over missing a limb, or an organ, or your heart.

Sunday driving isn't the same without car dancing
Comic book movies fill me with love and sorrow on your behalf 
(Where are Nick Fury and Thor? Two of the baddest badasses
And why are Inhumans masquerading as mutants?)

Nobody shares the same stories that we did
Nobody shares my birthday, I thought I'd love that
But birthday candles and cake can't compare to the wishes I make
They always involve some kind of dream reunion

You and Dad and Charlie, Lily says you're up in the stars
Because I can't believe that Heaven isn't too far away
You would've loved all these nieces and nephew, Godchildren who would have blessed you
If only life hadn't had so many other plans.

I frequent our place in Quincy, the kids think it's "their" store now, too
I can't walk in the door without seeing your face, even the guy is the same... 
It took me 30 years to ask his name, but you know, the one with the ponytail and glasses
I'm too afraid to ask him if he remembers a boy with Brillo pad hair, because if he doesn't it will break my heart.

Sigh. It's your birthday. We'll send up balloons.  Balloons used to soothe me so.
Now every balloon is a minute, and there are too many balloons behind us, and too many balloons to go.
Because I fucking miss you.  I had to say fucking.  Nothing else was strong enough.
I have too many things and people here to want to go, to die any time soon...

But that just makes me ache a little more, because I know, I KNOW what it means:
Balloons, and longing, and missing you, and wishing you'd visit my dreams.

PS: Thanks a lot for making our last dance together YMCA. I look great bawling to the Village People.

PPS:  Happy birthday, Jay.  I love you. I miss you.  Come visit my dreams.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Weekend of Memories

I've been focusing on some positive things to get me through the weekend (after which I'll be having a very important meeting at Happyboy's school.)

So.  Here are my (mostly) happy thoughts... 

Today is the day (20 years ago) that Roffey proposed. It was my grandparents' wedding anniversary. (BTW, it was the smartest decision I ever made, saying yes even though he didn't have the ring yet.) We aren't celebrating it, but it always serves as a reminder of how long we've been together and what things we've weathered together.

Is it any wonder I said yes? He wore those jeans in the summer.  

Tonight, I get to see my amazing niece Joybabe in concert. Joybabe and Madlove are my oldest brother's daughters, and I have crazy, embarrassing, sloppy old love for them.  The universe has thrown a lot at them lately and through grief, stress, and too much adulting they have taken all the punches and still kicked the universe's ass.  Joybabe is playing the flute tonight, and helping to raise funds to support the arts.  It reminds me that she's growing up, and will be 16 in August, which is both inevitable and unacceptable(!), and that my brother would have been so proud of her for taking up her instrument again.  I'm proud of her, though her sister Madlove, who shares a room, does not have a mad-love of the flute. 

All the whackadoodles together.

And tomorrow, my family will gather together to send up balloons that we write on to my brother Jay, who would have been 46 years old.  It will be 15 years in July since he died of Meningitis, and still not a day goes by that I don't think of him in some Lily says, "Uncle Jason is in the stars with Uncle Charlie and Grampa."  They're having a party up there.  Jay and I used to share our parties when we were kids, because we were exactly 2 years 1 month apart. I think some part of me is always subconsciously unsatisfied on my birthday, not because it wasn't great, but because there's a missing piece.  This year, Coffeeguy loved his birthday so much that he has taken it as a personal challenge to make mine amazing (more on that in another post), and my biggest fear is that I'll have a great time and still feel incomplete. Or, I don't know, maybe that I won't.  My birthday is always tied up in Jay, and our birthdays together, so that missing piece is kind of a reminder that he's still here inside my heart. (Don't worry, Coffeeguy, it's still going to be awesome!)

My brother's and my birthday.  [Side note: I know, today the feathered headband would be known as cultural appropriation--but it was the 70s, and also, we had a super-cool uncle who was a Wompanoag, so at the time it seemed more like we were being "cool like Uncle Ronnie" than anything else.]

So that's my weekend, after which we get to go up to Happyboy's school to address an incident that is too painful to write about right now.  How is your weekend shaping up?