The windshield wipers squeaked as they raked across the streaked windshield keeping time. Nothing else could be heard but the hum of the engine, even with two people occupying the car. The sting of recent heartbreak occupied my mind and I didn’t expect my brother to even know about the situation, much less comment on it. *Squeak* We weren’t very close at the time and he had other things, more like problems, on his mind without having to worry about me getting dumped. Plus, I was embarrassed. Even though my brother had so many issues and problems, I still looked up to him. I still wanted him to think I was a cool girl. I didn’t want him to know this guy decided I was worthless. Suddenly, he broke my thoughts and the silence, “So, I heard he dumped you.” I immediately felt my face grow hot. Tears filling my eyes. He does, he thinks I’m a loser, my own family. “Yeah.” I responded meekly. More silence. *Squeak* He spoke again, “What? Does he think he’s gonna do better or something?”
Last night I had a dream about my brother. I’m super thankful for these dreams because it’s the only time I get to spend with him, for the rest of my time on earth. He’s the same old guy in them. Cracking jokes and one liners. The king of one liners as my best friend so eloquently dubbed him. And when I wake up, I truly felt like I got to hang out with my big brother.
I spent a lot of holidays with Noah. I really liked having him around this time of year. My family has it’s share of dysfunction and he was usually the one to diffuse the situation with those one liners. I remember specific moments where I looked around the room and thought someone would either yell or cry, then you would hear him pipe in, just really lay it out for everyone, followed by the silence of everyone trying to grasp his comment and finally quiet snickering would start. Usually from me or my sister following suite, while my mother would try and shake her head in disapproval but fail miserably when she cracked her smile and joined in the laughter. It was welcome and needed relief. There were times we ended in stitches. Those are the best family memories I have. The ability to change a room’s mood like that. That’s something special. He had that charm.
We have added some wonderful people (who we love so much) to our Holiday Gatherings since my brother passed. But there is a forever hole at our table. An empty place setting that cannot and will not ever be filled by someone who will make us smile, laugh, or who could eat chicken wings the way Noah did; extra hot.
Noah, we miss you.