Thursday, January 14, 2010

Minus One

Today is the hardest day I've had to experience in a long time. It may not sound like that big of a deal to the average reader, and I wouldn't be surprised if most people think that I am blowing it way out of proportion. It also speaks to the fact that I have not had a particularly difficult life and because of this, it may not be able to take seriously pretty much anything that I say.

This morning at 6:50, after the family goodbye dinner last night at Redcoat Tavern, my little brother Steve got on an airplane and flew to his new job in Sunnyvale, California. It won’t be so easy to get together on Sunday afternoons anymore and watch some sci-fi television. Maureen had a pretty good suggestion that I post a list of every single TV show that I watch on Craigslist or something like that and that I try to match up my list as completely as possible with someone else’s list and then we could become TV buddies.

The situation is a tough one for the family because we have the good fortune of being so close, and it is difficult to lose another sibling/child to a new geography in a different time zone. I’ve known about this move for the last 1.5 months and have been doing my best to mentally prepare for the physical loss of my brother, but this has not helped me deal with this week as well as I hoped it would. I can’t help but reflect on all of the things that we’ve shared together because of our physical proximity throughout our lives. In the latter years of college, my sister and I would spend 2-3 hours every Sunday night at Conor O’Neills in Ann Arbor eating dinner and watching/listening to Steve play Irish music. My parents would often join us and we had a whole family thing with great frequency. We went out there last Sunday to have some dinner and watch Steve for the (hopefully not) last time.

If I can speak/write for my brother, and I’m pretty sure I can, I’m sure at this moment, in his heart, he would love to return to Michigan from the Bay Area in 2-3 years and find work and life in Michigan. In his mind, though, he also knows that it is difficult to predict where work and life will lead him, and he might not have the chance or desire to get back here to live for many years, if ever. If he finds a girl in California and she wants to settle down there, the odds drop even more. It’s tough to think about, but I’m going to have to use the next couple of years to try to come to peace with the fact that my long time dream of having my brother, sister, parents, and any existing spouses/children over for some family grilling and basic patio lounging might not become a reality.

Michigan is losing another young and educated resident, and I’m losing that rare person who you enjoy being with, even when you have nothing to do. I’m extremely lucky to have Maureen as my new companion in life, but I want my old companions of Steve and Gail back as well.

Steve, we wish you great success in California, but personally and selfishly, I wish you success up to the point that you are pretty sure you can do better wherever I am located in a couple years. I will miss you immeasurably, and I am thankful for all of the things I have had the privilege to share with you. I started to make a list of these things, but it was making me a little too sad to individually reflect on these shared experiences, so I’ll simply leave it with the food, the TV, the vacations, and all the rest of the wonderfully wasted time together. You are my brother, we’re proud of you, and I love you.


BobA said...

Don't give up on that dream of grilling on your patio, especially if you are going to do the grilling.

Seriously, good blog.

Jeff Caminsky said...

Change is a part of life. It's not always comfortable or easy, or even always for the better. And some changes can break your heart. But nobody with a soul will tell you that you're blowing out of proportion your sadness at the prospect of seeing someone you love move far away.

CraigF said...

So nice of your dad to emphasize that you are welcome to cook him dinner anytime.

Also on a serious note, I wholeheartedly support the "Bring Steve Back to Michigan" movement