Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy birthday!

Dear Dan,

Happy birthday, my man! I celebrate the day you were born even if you are no longer here. This is a day that should be marked with parades and confetti; cake and festivities. And you should be here to lead the parade.

As a kid, you always loved your birthday. During your grade school years, mom used to bake cakes and bring them to school. I remember the turtle cake she baked. That was a particular hit. I, however, wasn't allowed to partake. I don't think I was in school yet. Mom took me to your class with her, put the cake and plates, napkins, etc. down and we beat feet out. She baked a regular layer cake for home, but I really wanted a piece of that one.

I guess I'll just have to get a cake and eat it all by myself -- unless you'd like to drop by and join me. No? Dammit!

I love and miss you, bro.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello again

Dear Dan,

There's a movie called "Hello Again." Shelly Long's character is brought back from the dead by her sister, played by Judith Ivy. When Shelly reunites with her son and is talking in his kitchen, she looks around and sees some crate labels that used to belong to her. She says "You really kept me with you, didn't you?"

I wonder: if somehow you were able to come back and see the photos I've been able to keep, would you say "You've really kept me with you." Or would you sat "What are you doing with that stuff?"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Long time

Dear Dan,

Sorry I haven't written lately. I've been thinking about you all the time. We had a hurricane move through, followed by a tropical storm. I thought about our flight from Agnes. It's funny what you grab when you have to race for higher ground. After we knew the pets were safely settled in the car at the top of the hill, you and I had to make our decisions. What to take? You grabbed your entrance papers to Penn State and I grabbed my guitar and shampoo.

It was a little disconcerting that, with the dog and the rabbit in the back of the car, there was no room for us. You and I had to wait at a neighbor's house.

The 10th year anniversary of 9/11 made me think back to conversations you and I had at the time. You were in CA and I was in PA. I remember the panic attacks I had when I couldn't reach you. I knew you were mid-travel, but I didn't know where. So on the 10th anniversary, every time I saw a flag at half mast, I got a panic attack. Oy.

I guess you know about Facebook. I think it was starting when you were alive. It's been great reconnecting with people I knew as we were growing up. There's something bittersweet about it as well. There are some strange interactions that take place. Some make you remember fondly some incident from the past. Some make you wonder what the hell happened in the intervening years.

I guess I can say the same thing when I think of you. What the hell happened?

I love you, my brother.