One More Thing

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

I want to tell him that I saw “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which I’m pretty sure was the last film he saw.

I want him to know I really liked it but it made me sad all over again about Sharon Tate.  That Leonardo DiCaprio was good, but it was Brad Pitt’s performance that made it.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

I want to ask him what he thought of the impeachment trial and Rob Blagojevich’s clemency. (As the former governor of Illinois, the state in which he lived, I’m sure my brother would have a strong opinion about it.) And was he still supporting Biden for president? I mean, had he seen the debates?

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

I want to find out why he never told me about all the work he was doing for diversity and how, as a lawyer, he’d given opportunities to so many lawyers of color and that there was now a scholarship named after him.  I want him to know how very proud I am of him and how I really love the photo of him standing proud, at the top of a staircase, with the many men and women, he helped along the way, standing before him.

I want him to know that I plan to carry his torch and that my cup runneth over with love.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

I loved our childhood memories–the beach in summer, salty waves and the frozen Creamsicles. And also, the trampolines, fireflies, road trips and late, balmy nights. 

How we both laughed at the same TV shows, like “Car 54 Where are you?” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.”  How we’d go to the movies together and see the latest Jerry Lewis films. The way my brother acted silly sometimes and laugh so hard. How he’d use his index finger to push his glasses up his nose so they wouldn’t slide off. 

And how, no matter what, it felt as though we were in this together. Always.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

That I loved how he looked after me.  About where to apply to college, about convincing my parents it was okay for me to visit him at school. Alone.  How they put me on a Greyhound and I took my first trip ever to Boston on my own, and my head was so inflated by the rush of the experience, that I didn’t notice when I left my purse on the bus, including the $20 bill I carried in my wallet. Gone.

Yet, I loved every moment of my visit, and I loved feeling grown up with him. Because of him.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

That he didn’t die alone, but was surrounded by angels and by Mamá, who knelt by his side until the ambulance arrived, holding him gently in her arms while she wept, deeply, for her baby boy. And how my father stood by, in stark disbelief, willing his son to wake up–for his sake and not my father’s.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

That not a day goes by I don’t think of him. Or that I don’t want to call him up to get his opinion about anything.  I still need his advice, his humor, his love, his warmth. I still need him.

I want to tell my brother one more thing.

But I can’t, can I?

He’s gone and I am empty.

But if I could, I’d want to tell him how much I loved him.

And still do.

7 thoughts on “One More Thing

  1. Monica, I’m like this with my daddy, and he’s been gone 11 years now! Yes, we’ll always miss the people we loved when they leave, but you’re blessed to have those good, happy memories. The ones where you felt safe and valued. Hang onto those! And whatever your beliefs, know that you’ll see each other again one day. (And how comforting it must be for you, knowing your brother, mom, and dad are looking after Sir Henry, too!)

  2. This is so beautiful. I know he was proud of you too for all you’ve accomplished & for the people you’ve helped. Thanks for sharing this, and yes I teared up a little.

    • He was the best brother I could ever have asked for. He was a true family man who care about each and every one of us. A thoughtful brother, my big brother. God, I am so grateful I got to be part of his family.

    • But that’s the thing. I want him here. We have so many conversations we haven’t even started. So much to say, to laugh about. So much time ahead to hang out. And I just want to cry, IT’S NOT FAIR!!

      • Talk to him Monica, tell him your thoughts, comments and feelings. Write a book of all the tings you want to tell him, write it from the heart and self publish it. You could write it as though he is there sitting with you or you could write it as your thoughts, the choices are there.

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