This time of year my big brother “Gene” always comes to mind. His birthday is October 12. His soul departed to Heaven in 2014, but we lost him many years ago to pain and depression. When I remember him, I like to go back in time, when he was young, handsome, healthy and ornery; back to the time when girls would befriend me just so they might be near him. He didn’t like me much, and I spent a great deal of my childhood trying to change his opinion of me, which probably only made it worse. I was in my car this morning and he came to mind. At that moment, Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” came on the radio and I broke into tears. He loved that song, and would sing out loud when he heard it, often inserting silly lyrics, like “loose wheel” for Lucille, “four hundred children” instead of four hungry children. I remembered a particular day, we had been at the lake with various friends, including my brother-in-law Herbert, and they decided to play a prank on someone. I don’t remember what the prank was, or who the prank was on, but since the prank involved putting little sister in the trunk of his car…. maybe there is the clue. As I lay in the dark trunk, trying to be brave and earn my right to be on an outing with the big kids, I could hear my brother and Herbert singing Lucille, and it made me laugh. Since no one was supposed to know I was in the trunk, I had to laugh silently into the crook of my arm. Odd how little insignificant moments stay with you, disjointed from the entire memory; tasty fun size morsels.
I believe much of our fear of death is the fear of being forgotten. I just want you to know, brother, I haven’t.