Hot and wet with sweat. Tears rolling down my cheeks. I woke myself up again. I dreamt of Steven. It’s usually the same but sometimes changes. We are talking. Skype call usually but sometimes chatting on Facebook. That was practically our relationship the last 10 years. After he joined the army and we moved overseas, he became my cyber brother. Still real and still there, just different time zones.
I don’t think May 27th will ever leave my memories. The night I heard that my brother was no longer living at 28 years old. Immediately my world came crashing down.
I have for the last two years been holding on to the promises that it will get better. That I will heal and that things will be okay again. Normalcy will enter back into my life and it will all be okay.
That’s just not the case. My brother is gone and my life will never be the same. “Normal” will never be the same. My life has changed. I am no longer: Daughter of Mark and Rhonda Benz, Sister to four biological siblings and eight adopted. I am sister of four biological siblings, three living and one with the LORD, and eight adopted. That reality is not normal.
Some days the shock of Steven no longer in my life hits me again like new. Usually when I’m grabbing my phone, belly laughing at a joke that I just had to share. Yes, a joke. If you knew Steven, you know he loved his jokes and it didn’t matter what time of day he heard it. If you were on his mind at that very moment, you would receive a joke in a message. The three AM ones were always annoying. But that annoyance I would take back in a heartbeat. It’s in mid-laugh and beginning typing that I realize that there won’t be a response.
I still sometimes send the message. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s always painful. But I’m learning that it’s not that the pain goes away and life goes on as normal. The pain remains; you just learn to cope with it a little bit better each day. This pain I feel is a pain that does not go away.
I miss my hero way down deep. I loved and I mean LOVED having an older brother. It was one of my favorite things. Living life without him sucks. I will never grow used to this or even feel normal.
In my mom’s famous words;
breathing in, breathing out.