They say a story’s the best gift you can give. So here’s my gift to you. “He was stubborn,” she says, “A lot like you. Never gave up, always walked on, stayed true,”

He liked baseball. They say he just liked to watch and play it too. I like baseball too. Guess we’re a lot the same. 

I have this doll, a Bugs Bunny doll. It’s been around a while, nearly 23 years. I keep it close to my heart, hold it when I cry. Maybe because it was his. 

The brightest star in the sky is his star. I look at it when I’m alone and feeling sorry or sad. I feel like he’s there. to hold my hand. In my dad’s wallet there is a picture of him, in a suit and smiling wide, and all I can think is, why isn’t he here?

Impatience was what did it, the reason I was told from day one to look both ways and green means go and red means no. Why is the question I ask, in my heart and in my head, why couldn’t he wait?

Mom cries on his birthday. The whole family weeps the day he left. “We have to hope he’s someplace better,” my mom says. I don’t quite believe in a heaven most of the time, the only time I do is when I think of him.

I want to know my brother. Would I treat like my best friend, as I do with my older brother? Or would we have fought all the time, as I do with the younger? I cry for a boy I never knew. I wish I could have laughed and talked with him. That is what I want to do someday. I want to meet him.

My brother is gone. He left because he didn’t look. He was stubborn, had a Bugs Bunny doll, and liked baseball. Now he lies in the ground, and he hasn’t breathed in a long time. When I was little and mom cried about him, I just told her, at least in my head, “He must have friends up there, like Grandpa and Great Auntie. Or else it’d be so boring. All he’s doing is waiting, Mom. Waiting for us.”

My brother is dead. His name was Richard Andrew. He died November 7. He was six years old when he died. I wish I could have known him.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

For my family. And all they pain they feel everyday.

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