December 18: 1000 Words: There’s the old saying that a photo is worth 1,000 words. Give us a photo with that impact that sums up some significant event of your 2012, or give us 1000 words about a pivotal moment in 2012.
Seriously. Screw you, 2012.
But more importantly, this photo says: There is no moment I spend with my brother where I do not treasure him. When you almost lose someone to an addiction — an addiction that tore at the bonds of our family; that killed a good number of my brother’s friends — you never, ever, ever fail to appreciate the moments after the worst is over.
There is no family holiday; no event; no visit to California where I do not see this young man and think: Thank you. Thank you, God, that he survived; that he chose the harder path. That he is here.
That he is…okay.
It is one thing to survive an addiction. It is another thing to overcome it; to thrive in the face of it. To choose life.
My brother chose life.
I just chose to be a lawyer. Which, all things considered, is pretty much the opposite of life.
Anyway, what this picture cannot capture is this:
A month or two ago, I received a phone call from Matthew at an odd hour. Just a handful of years back, I’d have I’d have ignored it. It would only have been news I didn’t want. But I answered the call. And he was on the other end of the line saying: You know, I gave it some thought, and maybe we should run a half-marathon together in the spring.
So. Each moment I spend with my brother, I remember to say screw you to the past. Because the road is hard, and the path uncertain, but he moves forward, and if he leads, I can follow.
I am humbled and blessed and so grateful to have a brother like mine.