This week marked the 20th anniversary of my brother’s passing, October 22, except in my mind it was the 21st, a day earlier.
Felt strongly I needed to call my mom, got into a great conversation about grief, encounters with random strangers recently who reminded me of Ben, and listened to all my mom shared on the topic. What she shared is private, though I can share one of those encounters I had with a random stranger, who looked like I would imagine my brother would look at age 52, had he continued to be in physical until now.
He was driving a car, and it was as if time slowed down just a bit, so I could have a good look. I was driving too. From the driver’s seat I looked in wonder. Joy and gratitude filled me as I could now put my mind to rest on the question “what would he look like if” and as this man in whom I could see my brother kept sliding on in the opposite direction until he was out of sight, this pang of grief struck me, of missing him. The sound of his voice, his physical touch. The feeling of gratitude and joy continued at the same time. In wonder, I allowed both feelings without judgment.
As I had booked a haircut with Tamara at a local salon, I had to cut the conversation somewhat short. Still thinking it was the 21st, I let Tamara work her magic as my “hair psychologist”. It came to mind that the futuristic date and time of October 21, 2015, 4:00 AM in the movie “Back to the Future” was now in the past. Spent a few moments in wonder, looking back at how my “future” has panned out. How very different and beyond what I had imagined. The people I get to live and Love with. My brother still a part of it, though much different then quite a few of us would have liked.
When I come home, my husband greets me: “Hi Dushi”. Should have known something was up, as he never calls me this, though the first time we met, he overheard me say this to his cousin, inciting a ginormous grin on his part. Dushi is used to describe everything sweet and dear to you in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, where I lived at the time.
He is listening to some delicious music on YouTube, sharing it on our flat screen, urging me to look up Levi Silvanie, and see where he is from.
Finally I get around to looking him up, and see that Levi is from Curacao. He was just a baby and a toddler when I lived there. That little boy, all grown up now, had the best message for me, and for anyone really. I cry and laugh silently out loud when the date October 22 flashes before me, while Levi’s notes and words flow straight into my heart.
Thank you Joe, and Levi! And thank goodness for that little nudge to call my mom!