I can't believe it's been a year. I really can't get my mind around that.
I could go on forever about how busy we’ve been the past few weeks but I think my absence from the blog speaks for itself. And that’s not what I want to be posting about anyway. As a lot of you already know (as evidenced by the thoughtful emails and phone calls I’ve been getting), today is the one year anniversary of Mike’s death.
I thought it would be like any other day we’ve had this past year. Some good, some bad. I’ve had plenty of distractions lately to keep me from dwelling on it too much. Appropriately, we had a house full of people this morning including my parents and several guests from the land of Mike’s birth. I think Mike would have liked that. (Especially since they weren’t staying in HIS house. :) )My parents are dropping them off at the airport in D.C. today and though they’re physically and mentally exhausted from the last three weeks, I’m glad they aren’t spending the day alone. Mom’s taking today especially hard.
I’d already had my cry with Mom today, so I thought that was that. But although I don’t usually believe in this sort of thing, I really felt like Mike was with me this morning as I got ready for work. I turned on the radio in the bathroom and almost immediately The Fray’s “How To Save a Life”, a song that I associate with Mike, came on. It was one of the few songs he had on his iTunes and, judging by how many times he’d played it, it was a favorite. We played it at his service in Durham and it sends me over the edge every time I hear it. I stopped what I was doing and just listened to the song and let the tears come. Afterward, I showered and when I came out, “Feel Good, Inc.” by Gorillaz, another of Mike’s favorites, was on. It was too much of a coincidence. I just know Mike was telling me something. Reminding me he was still looking out for me.
Tonight, Christian and I, along with some other friends of mine that knew Mike, will be going to a local brewery to have a few drinks in Mike’s memory. Mike wasn’t a big drinker so I don’t know how appropriate that is but I know I could sure use a few.
A year ago today, it was Sunday and Mike was sitting down at his drawing board, working on the layout for what would be his final page for his WHAT IF...? book. I was up on the roof of my gazebo, putting on shingles. It was a lovely day and I was finishing a project that I’d been dreading for a while. Life was good. A cool breeze blew in and I remember closing my eyes and thinking, “This has been one of the best weekends EVER.”
Your life can change completely, or even end, in a single moment. You probably won’t see it coming. I keep thinking about all the phone calls and visits I put off because I didn’t want to keep Mike from his work. I know life kept getting in the way and he wasn’t able to be as fast as he wanted to be and that it frustrated him greatly. I didn’t want to contribute to that. So I always tried to pick just the right time to call. It was a real juggling act. I wish I could do it all over again. I’d call him every day, deadlines be damned. I’d visit every weekend. I’d say all the things I never got to tell him.
Damn, I miss my brother.