Saturday, September 18, 2010


When I was young my family moved a lot and I had to make new friends every couple of years. My brother was three years older than me so we became close and helped each other get through each move that the family made. He also helped me get around the structure of our family. My father was a conservative Mexican-American and had strict views about dating and dress that I fiercely rebelled against. When I went out in the evening I was required to take a chaperone, my brother, but as soon as we were out of sight of the house, we split up and agreed to meet at a later time. I would have gone crazy without his help during those years but I'm not sure if I ever formally thanked him. I hope I did because now its too late to reminisce about those days. Joe died suddenly in June at the age of 57.

When people die, when a brother dies, we are inclined to tell the good stories that we remember. But my brother's life was complicated and troubled and that can't be denied. We had been estranged for a decade until the year before his death. My sister's wedding was the occasion that brought us together again and was actually the event that reunited him with his children as well as he had not been a part of their lives while they were growing up. Being with him and his kids and Renee, his ex-wife, that night was weird and magical and healing. Afterwards, while we were still wary, we began the process of building a new relationship and though its hard to find anything positive about the timing of his death, I am so glad that we had that opportunity to reconnect and make amends.

This is a difficult blog to post. How much should I reveal? But this blog has always been intended to let family and friends know what is occurring in my family's life so I will share pain as well as joy with all of you. I loved my brother and I will miss him. May he rest in peace.