Today is my brother’s birthday. Nick would have been 44 today. This is the third birthday without Nicky, and I really miss our yearly birthday calls. This is one of those days that I find myself teary-eyed and sad. In all honesty, I will probably have to occasionally stop and wipe my eyes so that I can see clearly enough to finish typing this blog post.
Later today, I will go to the cemetery and put flowers on Nick’s gravesite, flowers that he wouldn’t care about, and then I’ll cry some more. I won’t be sad all day; I will call to mind a lot of fun memories and smile at the things that Nick said and did. However, no matter how many good memories I play through my mind, the day is still overcast and gloomy. Instead of asking him to make a wish before blowing out the candles on his cake, it is me who is mentally running through a litany of wishes all the things I wish he could be here to experience.
Since I am not able to call my brother and wish him a happy birthday, I am writing about it. I am sharing my heart with any who take the time to read this. I am a sister who misses her brother. I miss him every day, but today it brings with it a heavy heart. Most days I am great, and I can think of Nick and it only brings joy, but for some reason, there are a few days, like today, in which sadness prevails. Grief is not logical.
I am also a woman who is grateful. God has blessed me with many persons and relationships that have helped to heal my heart. Grief may seem overwhelming at times, but God’s love is greater! I do not know how God does it, but somehow through the passage of time, God repairs our brokenness, God replaces our sorrow with joy, and God brings beauty from the ashes.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planning of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3 NASB).
I miss my brother, but I am not in the pit of despair. There are times that I find myself shedding tears as a result of the pain of loss, but God has blessed me with much joy and happiness in life. The grief no longer overwhelms me, because God has given me strength to go forward. We do not get to choose the challenges and heartache that invade our lives, but no matter how painful, no matter how discouraging, and no matter how gut-wrenching these experiences are, God’s love is always there with us.
Happy Birthday, Little Brother! I love and miss you more than you could possibly know.