Turning 34

As with last year when I turned 33, I’m having similar feelings this year when it comes to turning another year older in light of Ed’s passing. Ed was 33 when he passed away; he was about a month shy of turning 34. So while last year, I turned the age that he was when he passed away, this year, I will be turning the age he never lived to see. It probably didn’t mean much to him; he didn’t want to live to see another day and made that more and more clear to me the closer we got to his death. But the only reason he felt that way was that he was blinded by his own pain and suffering. This prevented him from truly seeing and appreciating everything that was great about living on this earth.

It doesn’t always feel great to be a part of the world today. With ridiculous politics, a moronic leader of “the free world,” climate change, endless wild fires, misinformation, constant ignorance of overly privileged people, and other awful current events, I’ve caught myself oftentimes thinking that I am currently living in a dystopia, and I don’t know when all of this insanity is going to end; actually, I know the answer to that question: it will never end. The stupidity and chaos will continue. But being able to see light and hope through all that is a daily challenge and one that we have to strive for, otherwise, what’s the point of living, anyway?

I don’t really know what is going to happen this year, but I do know that I owe it to Ed to try to do my best, to continue living life as fully as I can to prove to him that this all actually is worth it. I still catch myself feeling in shock that not only is he gone, but he’s been gone for this long. This July, it will be seven years — seven years of living without my big brother. I really can’t believe it sometimes. But I have to keep hoping for the best, if not for myself, then for his memory. It’s the least I can do for him.

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