Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Day My Life Changed Forever

This post is very personal to me. My brother passed away 5 years ago from muscular dystrophy. I very rarely share my deep personal feelings, but this time I feel like I needed to get it out. This is my therapy and I know a lot of it won't mean much to the rest of the world, but it means everything to me. He was my best friend and I miss him more than words could ever say. I wrote Erich a letter on this post. I wanted him to know what life has been like, what he has missed, and what life is currently.

Dear Erich,
Today is October 16, 2010 and it has been 5 years since you passed away. Wow 5 years, you were just 24!! I was 21 when you passed away and I am soon to be 27. Sometimes I wake up and it feels like just yesterday, then other days it feels like a million years ago. But also sometimes it feels like you are on vacation or at school and I am just waiting for you to get home. Man, I would give anything to have you back in our lives. You are missed more than I could ever explain. I think about you everyday, there is always something that I see or hear that reminds me of you...and it just gives me a warm feeling inside, but to be honest I also have to hold back all my tears. Just between us, that is when the sunglasses come off my head and onto my face.
Nothing is the same without you. That Sunday morning changed our lives forever and I wish it didn't replay in my head but it does too often. We all woke up thinking it was just a normal Sunday....where ma goes and gets bagels or donuts, I come downstairs and turn the tv for you, then I help get you dressed so when ma gets back she can just put you in your chair, then we would eat breakfast and watch some Sunday football. But for some reason that isn't how God planned it. I will never know why he planned it the way he did. I will always wonder why he planned our life this way. That morning was awful, the most awful thing a family could go through. To walk into your bedroom, seeing you so peaceful, yet so lifeless. I just wanted to come wake you up, but it was too late. You passed away in your sleep. I'll never forget the moment when I had to call dad and tell him you died. It was, and probably will always be, the hardest thing I had to was so difficult to get the words out of my mouth. Once they left my lips, it meant it was real. It meant you were no longer alive. It meant you weren't able to talk to me anymore. It meant you weren't able to eat bean dip and chips with me anymore. It meant you were never going to see me get married or have children. It meant everything would be different.
A lot of things have changed/happened since that day. Some things for the better, some things for the worse. Let's see...
  1. we moved with mom to two different houses after you passed away
  2. Brianna (cousin) moved in with ma
  3. I graduated college
  4. Had some bad/sad relationship experiences ...wish I could have gotten your advice
  5. Kelley (sister) graduated high school
  6. Dad moved to Texas, well kinda he goes back 'n forth from Ca and Tx
  7. I moved to Oceanside to get away from everything
  8. Brittany (cousin) moved in with ma
  9. I met the love of my life!!! :-D
  10. Carrie (cousin) had another baby
  11. Dustin (best friend in high school) passed away
  12. Lauren and Aarika (sisters) graduated high school
  13. I finally quit CLC ;)
  14. I got married
  15. David (cousin/erich's best friend) got engaged
  16. Mom donated your wheelchair
  17. We moved to Texas
  18. Hopefully we will get back home soon ;)
Well, I know a lot more has happened, but those are big significant things that occured. Actually the way I see it since you died, is everything is significant because we never know when it will be our last moments, our last breath. Our family dynamic has changed a lot. All of us have changed, and not necessiarly for the good. Yea I know it is expected for us to change somewhat. Mom isn't the same person anymore. Sometimes I think if she was given the opportunity to take her life she would do it, I know that is really sad to say...but it's true. It is like you were her entire life and now that she is gone she is clueless, helpless, and sometimes even lifeless. It is like she doesn't care about anyone else anymore. She isn't the same happy bubbly person she once was. Aarika and I are at a loss for how to change it. Maybe you can help you out. Maybe you can talk to her in her dreams. We want mom back. Dad is the same...well you know dad doesn't show emotion at all, actually neither does Lauren. Dad brings you up in conversation at times, but for the most part he keeps a lot of his thoughts and feelings to himself. The girls (sisters) have all changed, not sure if it is due to your death or the fact that they were 13, 14, 15 at the time, and are now 18, 19, 21. They are all adults now, how crazy is that. Kelley and Lauren drink everyone under the table, it's like they are pros ;) Aarika still makes us laugh with her random crude comments.
I got married three months ago. I wish you could have been standing at the altar with me. You would have been a best man. Since you weren't there I asked David if he would stand in your place. I knew you were there with me all day. I had the florist tie my locket that holds a picture of me and you to my bouquet. So you were they with me the entire time. It was difficult for me not having you physically there. I never imagined you wouldn't be there...although I probably knew deep down inside. You know, you would really love Tony. He is full-blooded Italian, speaks Italian fluently, has lots of tattoos (ok well maybe you wouldn't care so much about that ahaha). I know how much you loved the Italian culture, so you two would have a lot to chat about. Erich he is an amazing man. I know God picked him especially for me. He treats me like a princess, and I know you wouldn't want anything less for me. :)
You know it's shitty. We all knew that the day would come that you wouldn't be alive anymore. We were all told by the doctors, yet I don't think we ever thought it would actually happen. Or is it that we just couldn't come to grips with the thought of you never being around? I think that is what it truly was. Why would God put you in our lives and decide to take you away at such a young age?? You know Aarika has a framed prayer of yours hanging in her room, and every time I see it I think of you. I know that you were at peace when you were taken from me, taken from us. I am not sure how you were at peace, but I am so amazed and so 100% positive that you were. You knew God's plan for you, you knew you wouldn't live a longer life like all us sisters. But somehow you dealt with it, somehow you were ok with it. But this prayer always gives me peace knowing you are up in heaven watching over your family.

'Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.'

Life seems a little more difficult for me since you have been gone. I am so extremely emotional all the time. Whenever I am stressed or irritated or frustrated or sad about things, I totally cry. I can't help it anymore, the tears just come out. It's like part of my heart is broken because you aren't here anymore. I don't know how to hold back my emotions anymore.
About a month ago Aarika and I had a blood test to see if we have the muscular dystrophy mutation. We I wanted to know, so Tony and I could be aware for when we have kiddos. Not too sure Aarika really wanted to know, but she did it anyways. Good news!! We are negative. I have to say I was really relieved about this, I do not think I could relive all the aches and pains that we went through when you were younger. AND especially not the grieving from death. God knows we probably couldn't handle it again.
To see your smile again, to hear your laugh again, to chat with you again, to even hear your ventilator beep again would be the best day of my life. I know I complained a lot because I was the only sibling that helped care for you, but honestly I wouldn't have change it for anything. I cherish every.single.moment I shared with you. All the inside jokes. All the laughter. All the saddness. All the crying. All the craziness.
My life has had a lot of ups and downs in the past 5 years. I always try to tell myself, things aren't that bad. They will get better. Will they? They have to, right? I am still lost Erich, I am lost without you here. You always gave me so much encouraging and inspiring words. I love photography. I love children. I want to be a child photographer, but I do not have the confidence to do so. How did you always have the courage to just do and not worry about the bad? I want to be like that. When it comes to my photos, I am so worried about people's reactions it holds me back. Why am I so opposite of you in this regards? Help me!! :) I know if you were here, you would tell me to go for it. To do what I love and do not give up. There is really nothing holding me back other than lack of confidence. I see what you did with your life. And all I think is wow you were one.amazing.person. I also think, if I don't do it now, will I never do it? Will I never have the chance? I don't want to regret it. Well I'll keep you updated on if I actually have a photography business.

I could keep writing for ever. There is so much more to tell you. Lots has happened in 5 years, but I know you have seen it all as you are watching over us.

I think Erich was 4 and I was 2
July 2005 the summer before he passed away

I love you so much Erich. I miss you every day.

Your Angel of Mercy,



Smiling is Good for Your Teeth said...

This is a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing! I know how it is to be personal on the web! I hope you feel some relief after sharing!

I am your newest follower from top 2 tuesday!

Have a great day!

Taylor @ The Undomestic Momma said...

Im so so sorry for your loss! This post is so sweet!

Lindsay said...

thank you...