I planned to spend just an hour or so scanning old family and friends photos tonight, but I became almost maniacal about it and spent over four hours going through and scanning pictures. I thought, I’m just going to take my favorite photos of Ed and me and scan those. Well, I guess almost all of our childhood photos have managed to become my “favorites,” and I became overwhelmed with how many of them gave me warm and fuzzy feelings that I ended up going a bit overboard.

All of our photos together when we were little are my favorites. Even before he passed away, whenever I’d come home, I’d always take a look at our childhood photos for at least a few minutes, just to try to remember a time when I knew Ed was genuinely happy. They are the biggest collection of photos of my brother smiling before the world broke him.

But one of my absolute favorite photos of just my brother, before I was even born, is this photo of him standing in front of Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate Park, with a remote-controlled car in front of him. His hands are holding the remote, and he has the most endearing smile on his little face. His eyes are big and wide, naive to all the pain that the world is going to offer him in his young life. Every time I look at that photo, I can feel my stomach unsettling, and my heart feels so hurt. When I see that photo, I think, “Damnit, why is this world so screwed up that it had to steal away your love of life and pure innocence?” I ended up using that photo in his funeral program.

I’ve become obsessive over his baby photos. I’ve scanned a great number of them tonight, and it’s been taking a long time given the way this old computer is configured. I don’t know what it is with me and these photos. When I come home, and I see that he’s no longer here and his clothing and papers and writing are no where to be seen, I feel like I have nothing left of him. The only things I have left are Bart and his baby photos, and that’s really it. I want to take whatever I can get.

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