She Talks About Him Like He is Still Alive

In a way, I’m sure her little brother is still there. An indelible imprint on her now-incomplete heart.

Leukemia took his body, but left the memories — cruelty at its finest.

Even though he spent most of his life in school, she does not talk about his scholastic prowess. Grades aren’t a relevant remembrance.

Instead — the movie he was scared of.
Instead — the jokes they played.
Instead — the girls who liked him (and those who didn’t).

In other words — fear, laughter, love.

And not — work, money, success.

Yet here we are, trying to draw meaning from the meaningless. We surround ourselves with grey walls and grey buildings and grey people and then wonder why years of our life evaporate while we look the other way.

Achievements are wonderful, but ultimately fall flat. Even humanity’s most successful offerings end up in a trivia game.

“Who was the 18th president of the U.S.?” you say, trying to remember. “I should know this one.”

You don’t, though and here’s why — Ulysses S. Grant* had no emotional impact on your daily life. He achieved a lot of things. But who cares?

You will achieve things today. But who cares?

So what matters?

Fear, laughter, love.

Emotion, not empires. I don’t remember what I wrote in an email last week. But I remember 12 years ago when I sat around a fire with my cousins. I see their eyes. I hear the embers pop. I taste the smoke. The moment burns brightly in the back of my brain.

What would happen if you poured everything into the 4 people who actually care about you instead of the 400,000 people you wish did?

What memories could you create for them?

What will they remember when you are gone?

I don’t know if you will ever read this, but thank you, Leslie, for the memories you’ve given me.

I love you.

— TB

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