Monday, August 30, 2010

How Many Siblings Do You Have?

Last night was the first time since my brother's death that I got the question: "How many siblings do you have?"

I'd actually thought a lot about my answer (I have been told that it's not uncommon to burst into tears when someone asks that question, so I'm quite proud of myself for keeping it together). The whole numbers thing has been really difficult for me--do I still have 5 people in my family, or only 4? Do I still have 2 siblings, or only one?

I've been thinking about it a lot, and grappling with the -1 count to the family. Agonizing over the whole past/present thing. Which is the correct answer?
  1. I have a brother.
  2. I had a brother.
I'm such a stickler for grammar, it's actually rather ironic that the grammatical inconsistency of tense is what makes me feel most comfortable when talking about my brother. And it was sardonically funny that, after agonizing for so long over an answer, that it arrived so speedily when the question came:

"I have a brother. He passed away earlier this summer."

I have a brother. He may be corporeally missing from my life now, but he is still my brother who I got to spend almost 24 wonderful year with, and who lives on in all of our memories.

And I'll see him again one day.

1 comment:

  1. here and listening... you and your family are in my thoughts.