Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2005

I vividly remember a phone conversation January 10th 7 years ago today.
It is a conversation that I hold in my heart everyday of my life.

I was sitting on the couch, and my brother, James, called. I remember making small talk and laughing. My brother mentioned that he was looking for a change and wondered if I might be able to talk Andy about getting him a job. This is the moment, I will forever own and forever wish I could take back.

I hesitated.

My brother was a passionate person. He was a restless spirit.

He had almost too much passion and adventure caged in one person.
I was not sure how to handle how this could unfold.

In one selfish instant, the damage was done.

My brother sensed the hesitation and awkwardly ended the conversation with a quick, “I love you, and will talk to ya later Chance.”

He later told my mom he was sorry for putting me in that position.

What position? The position to open my arms, and let someone I love know it?

The thing is, I let my brother down that day, and we never really know what someone is going through on the inside.

I held back, and it was stupid. I will never know how my brother being in Colorado would have unfolded.

It could have been the best thing for both of us.

It could have flopped miserably.

The thing is, I didn’t even give it a chance.

If I could take back one split second in my life, this would be the one. My split second of hesitation when someone I loved reached out.

Things may have still unfolded as they ultimately did, but at least I would always know that my brother knew in his darkest moments that I loved every single part of him unconditionally.

You see a little over a month later, on President’s Day, I found out my brother took his own life.

And I know people will say that I should not own his death, but as a sister I will always own a piece of it. Someone I loved and grew up trick-or-treating with was in a dark enough place to take his own life. I should have let him know what he meant to me, and without hesitation said, “YES! Come out here! We can go hiking in the mountains! It will be fun!”

If I can blast any message, it would be don’t hesitate.

Open your arms fully to those you love and embrace all that comes with it. You just never know if it will be your last opportunity.

I love my brother dearly with my whole heart and soul. I try to cherish and remember the things I don’t want time to let slip away.

His laugh. How his bony collarbone felt when I hugged him. How he used listen to his music so crazy loud when he drove with all the windows down. How he took in the world around him with such intensity. How he got a thrill out of getting my mom all worked up or scaring my little sister and me. How he took me out for steak and eggs when I graduated. How he used to put his hands in his pockets so his shoulders were slightly raised when he was around people.

How he was always up for a new adventure.

How he never hesitated.

The world lost a truly amazing person that day.

My little world was rocked to the core and my frame of reference was forever changed.

Songs, smells, the similarity of someone’s jaw line to my brother’s jaw line bring back fleeting memories nearly every day, and there is a sting in my heart.

Life is short and unpredictable.

Please don’t hesitate to love unconditionally.


Anonymous said...

I won't hesitate to tell you that this is a great blog post and that James was proud of you and always will be¡¡ Xoxo¡¡

Melissa said...

Chance, I love you and so does James... I think we all carry around a little piece of this... I love that you are brave and thoughtful and able to put this into words for all of us!!!