Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creating Waves: Remembering My Brother's Influence

Our lives are so greatly touched by the people around us. It is as though every human being we know is like a boat passing along the sea of our lives. Their passage leaves a wake, affecting us. A boat's wake moves the sea around it, stirring things in its passing. And that's how other people affect our lives.

It is more than a year and a half since my brother Mark passed away, untimely, unexpected, unfairly. Death is never really fair, of course, but when it shows up for one who is young and apparently healthy, it is almost sociopathic in its behavior. Sick. Unfair.

My brother was a powerful influence in my life. He taught me how to love. He taught me the power of overcoming, since he had a lot of uphills to climb. Sometimes he'd get tired. Sometimes cranky. But he kept persevering. I admire that. I miss it.

I also miss his impressive ability to understand and sympathize with other people. While he never liked fools very much, and never liked people who behaved dishonorably, he also had a terrific capacity for listening to others and learning from them and speaking into their lives. That's probably why he had so many people on his Facebook page, all offering their condolences and going out of their way to help my sister-in-law and the special needs son he left behind.

It's impossible not to think about Mark at holiday time. From Labor Day on, I expect I'll have a bit of a roller coaster ride. That's okay. I wouldn't have it any other way, because I accept that the death of a person who is special to you creates very large waves. It takes time for them to wane. And it's okay to miss people, isn't it?

I normally don't say much about my personal life and family on the blog, but I wanted to take time to write about my brother today because of another blogger, Raine Thomas, who wrote a powerful blog post about the loss of her brother a year ago. I invite you to check out what she had to say. It is a beautiful post.

Unlike Raine, I haven't published a novel yet. But I'm working on one right now. And one reason I want to finish it and get it into print (even if I must self-publish) is to include the dedication I've written: To my brother, who asked. You see, he is the first person who officially asked me to dedicate a book to him. That's the faith he had in me. He trusted me to finish what I've started. So I will.

And I encourage you to think a little bit about the way your life has been influenced by those who have a special place in your life. Take a moment to look at those waves they have created on your sea, and if it's good, say a quiet thank you to the universe for that gift. It really is a good thing. And it stays with you long after the person is gone.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved. And dedicated to my brother, because after all, he asked first. Smart man!

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