The Wandering Poet

Buffy Brinkley on the Things that Inspire my Life, my Pen, and my Heart.

The Alternative

on June 22, 2015

Whenever I’m faced with something unpleasant, I try to put the experience into perspective for myself. I ask: what is the alternative?

When faced with a long line at the supermarket, the alternative would be that I couldn’t afford groceries and would not be standing in line. I think about how fortunate I am to be able to stand in that line.

When faced with a boring task at work, the alternative would be that I don’t have a job. I think about those being laid off from work. Those without a way to make ends meet. I am fortunate to work.

The examples I could mention are more than anyone would care to read, but none could be more relevant or impact my life more than this one:

My brother, Jesse, was just 2 years and 10 months younger than me. We were close enough in age that we practically grew up together. The idea of being a big sister thrilled me. I’m a nurturer by nature and he represented someone to look after and protect and love.

By the time we were 10 and 7, he was my best friend. He played dolls with me, I played sports with him, and we fell into a happy compromise of give and take.

I was his big sister until he turned 13. He then became my big little brother. He was suddenly taller than me, stronger than me, and he started playing the role of protector.

He was funny, smart, witty, and a talented artist. Talented to the point that Marvel Comics offered him a job. Instead, he joined the Navy and worked hard for his dream of becoming a Navy SeAL. There was nothing he couldn’t do. His confidence and faith never faltered.

When he’d served his time and was discharged, he came home.  He went to school, he went to work. He made me laugh every day I got to spend with him. And, we always made sure we said I Love You before leaving each other’s company.

I couldn’t have known that my brother would be the one to inspire me to be who I am when he was born. I was supposed to be the example for him. Instead, he became the example for me. Kind to his core, and good to his soul, Jesse was the kind of person who could walk into a room of a thousand strangers and walk out 5 minutes later with a thousand friends.

They say that only the good die young, and my beautiful, wonderful and kind brother was no exception. On January 30, 1998, at the age of 22, my brother was killed by a drunk driver. This just one year after his discharge from the Navy.

The drunk driver took my best friend from me, and I once again was faced with putting things into perspective. Seventeen years is the blink of an eye and some days I feel like I lost him just yesterday. I have missed him every day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

To honor him, I have tried to live by his examples: Be kind. It’s easy to be a friend, so be one. I am, and I try my best to be everything my potential offers.

But, I still grieve his loss sometimes, and this vast emptiness within me threatens to swallow me whole. But I know what the alternative to this pain is. The alternative is to never have known him. So, I smile through my tears, I rejoice in his memory, and I hold on to every moment I can recall. Because the alternative would be more unbearable.๐Ÿ˜Š 



3 responses to “The Alternative

  1. MargotMat says:

    Beautiful thoughts through such loss. Hugs to you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ju1esH says:

    That was beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. So glad we met, thinking of you

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: