"We know how the story ends, What we don't know is what happened along the way." - The Map of Love
I know how my brother's story started out and was there along the way for most all of it. I was there when his story ended too. I saw it. But through the course of the last few weeks, I have learned more about him from his friends than I ever knew. Some stories I'm sure he'd never have shared and he'd probably be mortified that I know. Yet knowing them makes our grief a little less and makes us feel closer to him.
One of his friends can do a perfect imitation of his voice, something our family might never bother to learn but that made me laugh on the day of the funeral. There is a sign hanging over the bar where he tended, which reads, "Dude, you've been waving me over for ten minutes for drinks and now you don't even know what you want... that means this beautiful girl here has to wait even longer for a drink... at least buy her one!" That I can hear him saying. Last weekend his friends got together and held a Surfer's Memorial. It's one more thing I didn't know about him, just how good a surfer he was. I want to thank those friends who celebrated him last Sunday. Some things surprise me about him, but each one is part of the whole that was my brother, and allows me to color in the picture of what happened along the way.
I'm sure you've all heard the saying about some people coming into our lives and we are never, ever the same. These friends leave footprints on our hearts. Footprint Friends, his and ours, are helping us all to heal. I think our friends are Stage Five in Life. So, so important.