My youngest brother got married this past weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. My wife and I had an amazing time (without kids, making it even more awesome) with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. As I sit down and think about my weekend I realize my brother’s wedding signifies the closing of an important chapter for our family, and I find myself emotional.
When I was in second grade my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia and near the end of my third grade year he died. In a lot of ways I feel like I’ve spent my life hoping to make my dad proud and honor his memory. There were certain moments along the way where I missed him a lot- like when I got married or had my first son. These moments come every once in a while. When they do, I feel my father’s loss, I grieve, and then I continue my journey.
I didn’t think about any of this over the weekend, but for some reason it’s on my mind now. I’m thinking about myself, my two younger brothers and my dad. Now that my youngest brother, who was 2 when my dad died, is married, I realize we’re all adults. We’re not boys wading through the deep waters of life, wishing we could swim. We’re 3 men, forging our way in the world. I’m so proud of my two younger brothers. I’m proud of the battles we’ve fought as a family and I’m proud of where we are and who we are today.
I don’t think anyone ever realizes they’re an adult until they look back and discover it happened somewhere along the way. But, as I think about my three brothers and I at the wedding reception, dancing together in the same awkward fashion, I realize that we all suddenly became men somewhere along the way. I would have loved for my dad to have been able to witness this for himself.
I remember back to those first few Christmases and holidays after he died and it felt like there was a huge black hole in my life and in my heart. I wasn’t sure if or how we would ever make it through. But, today, as I reflect on my youngest brother’s wedding, I know we can stand tall because- we did it! We made it. I would just like to say how much I love and appreciate my family and I’m proud of the ways we’ve grown over the years.
I wanted to share a part of my story in case someone out is at the beginning of their journey and wondering if they’ll ever “make it.”