I'm Thinking About You Today: The Story of Andrew

Your perfectly blue eyes.

Your long thick eyelashes.

Your rough hands.

The way you would pick me up and hug me.

The way you would defend me.

The way you made me laugh… so so hard.

The way you loved God.

The way you loved others.

 

You, my brother, I’m thinking about you.

 

It feels weird to think about you. Sometimes it feels like you were never real. You’ve been gone almost 10 years now. I’ve lived so much life without you, that sometimes it feels weird to think that once I got to touch you.

And then when I think of you, I think of him.

He was just being a stupid kid. But that one stupid moment, of drugs and driving, took my big brother’s beautiful life.

Because of him, you never got to meet my now husband.

Or see me walk down the aisle.

Or meet my baby boy… He’s named after you.

Or my darling daughter… you would have been enamored with her.

That day, before you left the house, I was helping you pick out what to wear for the evening. Just a simple moment between siblings… siblings that had turned into best friends.

And then by nightfall, just like that, you were gone. For good.  

I was filled with hatred for a couple years. Most would say that my hatred was justified. That he deserved to be hated. That my family deserved justice. But that hatred wasn’t hurting him, but it was rotting me from inside out.

 

I knew that if I didn’t do something, I would be dead too.

 

Forgiveness was a process:

Letting myself cry. A lot.

Being angry.

Writing letters to him.

Confessing (out loud) that I forgive.

But mostly, it was about making a daily choice: A choice to let go. A choice to miss you. A choice to talk about you. A choice to get used to the new normal.

This traumatic moment had left me scarred. I found myself being filled with fear of death. Fear that everyone was eventually going to leave me too.

Until I was presented with a chance. A chance to tell him, in court -- to his face, that I forgive him.

A chance that could heal the scar.

A chance that would be life changing.

Life defining.

I remember driving to the court house, for the trial where the verdict would be delivered.

My hands were shaking. Palms were sweating. Stomach filled with anxiety… mixed emotions; fear, anger, bitterness, etc. 

But also filled with determination. This was a chance, to let go. To be free.

That day, the judge asked if any family members wanted to say anything. So, I got up, went to the stand and spoke my forgiveness to him. 

 

And in that moment, both of us were forgiven and freed.

 

Life can be so difficult and so beautiful all at the same time. But we can only control our response to that beauty and pain.

I pray I am filled with beauty, even when life seems dark.

You, across the screen, can be filled with beauty too.

Today, you can make a choice. Because that’s how it starts; with a choice. 

A choice to let go.

A choice to forgive.

A choice to love.

A choice to not be a victim; but instead a conqueror.

Together, let’s choose to love and bring more beauty to this world.

XOXO,

Amaris


{About This Kick Ass Story}

I’m Amaris a 20 something, wife, mother, and blogger from Orlando, FL! I write, and share my struggles and stories, to inspire women to live fearlessly and authentically. I own and write at my blog: www.crumbsandglamour.com ! Join me as I strive to make a difference in the lives of women. Let’s make life more beautiful together.

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