I thought about writing in my journal today, my place of refuge when I don’t want anyone to know my feelings.
I thought about the last few days.
And then the last few weeks.
And years…and decades…
And then I cried.
I don’t know why I’m writing this post for all to see. I want to hide my feelings in my little book. Put them to paper so I can turn the page and never see them again. I don’t want google to forever index this memory. Yet, here I am–still writing. Maybe deep down I want to remember tod
ay. I don’t know.
Today is Thanksgiving. I grew up loving Thanksgiving and I plan to someday die with the same love in my heart. Thanksgiving was always a beautiful family affair for us children. We’d decorate the dining area with crafts made from construction paper, my brothers and I. There were fall leaves, and turkey feathers, colored pilgrim hats and Indian head gear. My brothers were always the pilgrims. I was always the Indian.
When I grew older Thanks
giving took on different meaning. For me it was all about being with Mom and Dad. It was about Mom’s great turkey and Dad’s great photography. He loves to take pictures.
I used to shy from photos when I was growing up. There aren’t very many of me, and the ones that exist were no doubt taken by Dad’s expert hand. He knew how to capture his camera shy oldest son, and he was deft at his craft.
Most importantly, he took many photos of his other children. Younger than me by three years, my twin brothers were photogenic and always happy to be in the picture. Never shying away from the flash of Dad’s Pentax.
My most cherished p
hotos are ones Dad took of us kids throughout early time. I open my photo album: Here are me and my brothers fishing for the very first time; here they are hugging each other on a street in Tokyo, Japan posing for Dad; here’s another one, me and my brothers sitting side by side on a short wall in Hawaii. There are bright flowers and palm trees behind us.
I never gave a second thought to these photos, they were just old photos. But all of that changed 2 weeks ago when I unexpectedly lost one of my twin brothers. In the blink of an eye he was sick. Then just like that he was gone.
And here I am. Than
ksgiving 2020. Alone, in a prison in a far off state where I know no one. It has been this way for 2 1/2 decades, and I have grown numb to the pain of distance and time.
First thing this morning I looked at my photos of my brothers. Both of them smiling through time, yet one of them no longer here. I looked at the three of us on a sunny day in 1980’s Hawaii, oblivious to the future. And then I looked at a photo of John taken 2 weeks before his death. Ironically it has been two weeks hence. And I broke down in my grief.
I’ve noticed that w
hen I have these moments some of the guys tend to quietly disappear, their way of allowing me time to grieve. Others drift past in a kind of drive by, confirming for themselves the rumors that death has come near again. Death and loss is the reality of long sentences. We all know this, but hope we won’t be next on Grief’s wail wall.
I told myself I wasn’t going to write about my loss again, that no one wants to read about someone else’s pain. It is after all Thanksgiving.
But I need to write. This is how I cope from behind these walls and I ask you to bear with me. I don’t like asking for anything, but incarceration forces you to be the beggar. If I am to move forward it has to be this way for now and I am sorry.