He’s Missing My First First

Leading up to the days of my brother’s death, I never know when it will hit me or even if it will. Today it did. The profound loss of him. The idea that I don’t get to share any of the joy of publishing my book with him. I don’t get to talk to him about any of it. It has been taken away from me. He took that away from me, from us.

This will be ten years this year. People kept telling me it would get easier with time. I’d like to say that it does and in some ways it does. The daily pain is less but the annual days are just as hard. Each year is different because each year I am different.

The past few days so much has happened for me. I published my first book. I was in the top 50 best sellers on Amazon’s Native American biographies, making it to #27. I am in the #3 spot for new releases on Native American biographies. All these firsts.

All my firsts have always been with my brother because he was there before me. As my big brother, he got to see all the things I did first. He was my go to guy.

When I first started talking about my life, I was asked to give a speech to Native graduates for a celebration. I spoke about overcoming my childhood and the idea that you could do anything. I cried while giving that speech. I made everyone else cry in the room as well. The first person I wanted to share it with was my brother.

I drove over to his house and read him the speech. He congratulated me on a well written speech and on what a great job I had done with my life. He told me how proud he was of me. The two of us just sat outside on the patio under the awning. We must have been smoking, or he was smoking. It wasn’t too hot for a May day in Vegas. I just remember him lounging outside. I may have even woken him up coming over to share my news. But he was always ready and willing to hear me out.

Being in solitude, in isolation, the joy of sharing my publication has been small. I’ve celebrated with texts with my moms and sisters and friends. I’ve blasted it on Facebook. But the one person I want to hear from, I can’t and never will. It is the voice that drifts in right before I wake up. It is the voice that I hear in meditation. It is the voice I hear carried on the distant wind at the top of Strawberry Point. My brother’s voice. I want to hear him tell me it’s all going to be okay.

Through tears I write this thinking of you. I hope that wherever you are, you are able to golf, watch endless TV and have access to new movies. I love you.

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