So today marks one year since you passed.
Saying that is still strange, mostly because I don’t want it to be true.
I have a really hard time with this because I don’t know how to properly express what I feel, I never have. But of course, you know that. You were the first person who ever had to deal with my sass and stubbornness other than our parents. And sometimes, you didn’t deal with it and told me (rightfully) to shut up. That’s what big brothers are for though – teaching their little sisters, the line.
You had such a sweet heart, bro. We had difficulties, as most siblings do, but when we grew up and out of the house, you never gave up on me. You asked me to go to breakfast at Bob Evan’s of course. You talked to me about life and asked me questions about mine. You met Nick and stood by us at our wedding, even though you were sick. You danced with me there, even though you were sick. You hated being sick, always. But you loved people through it.
I was so proud when you told me you wanted to be a counselor for transplant recipients because they could have someone to talk to that got them. You got them, and you wanted to help them.
You seriously had the best personality and I mean that. You were unapologetically yourself, all the time. I hated that about you for a while because I did not understand how you could literally just not CARE what anyone thought. You wore flat bill hats, giant red basketball shoes that were personalized, got a tattoo because you wanted to, and wore so much red it hurt my head. I would mention it to you, why are you wearing that? And you’d just say, “because I like it”. I even remember you wearing a tank top that said, “Sexy and I know it”. I can’t type that without giggling. You just WERE. No one else got a say in what you were like, which I know was a little infuriating for our parents, but it was your own form of stubbornness, just like I had mine.
Even though I hated that for a bit, I always admired that in you. I was jealous that you had so much freedom to just be yourself. It let other people be themselves too. You accepted everyone for who they were, and you told me I was judgmental. You never let me get away with anything. You always told me when I was wrong. And I am so thankful. You were sensitive to other people’s needs in a way I wasn’t. You always wanted to sit and talk and you wouldn’t take no for an answer.
You were genuinely present, always. You listened to everyone and made people feel good. You taught me about that. What I could do to help people know they are loved – look at them, smile, laugh at their jokes and just BE with them. I learned so much from you.
You went on mission trips – something I never had the guts to do. You wanted to go to Dominican Republic – I think that was it. You know I have the worst memory. You couldn’t go though, maybe because you weren’t feeling 100%. Instead, you went to LA. You went to help set up a Dream Center for people there. You went to pray for them, give the homeless a place to go and you loved every minute of it. You raised money with no qualms and knew it was worth it. Gosh, you were amazing.
I don’t know exactly what Heaven’s like, or if you know what’s going on with me now, but I wish I could call and tell you about it. I’m singing at church a lot. I picture you in the audience every time, raising your hands and dancing and yelling because you could never sing (which your sister made sure to tell you but you of course didn’t give a shit). I’ve made friends in Utah that you would love. They are the kind of friends you always told me I should get. I wish they could meet you.
Quinn, you were my big brother. Sometimes I hated you, sometimes I liked you just fine, but I always loved you. I’m glad I got to tell you that before you left. I wish I could tell you again what you mean to me.
Thank you for teaching me that life isn’t that scary – just be yourself and never be sorry for it. You were brave and compassionate, strong and so loving. You wanted everyone to know they were important. Thank you for showing me that is possible and how to do it. Thank you for drawing me out of myself and making me brave. Thank you for laughing when I was an obnoxious weirdo – when I was myself. You reinforced all the good things in me and never let me get away with the not so good.
You were the greatest big brother a girl could ask for. I will miss you forever.