We were honored to have Thanksgiving at our home, again this year. Continuing with our Annual Thanksgiving Evening Ping Pong Tournament. Often, our life is full of Coach Style Traditions... which is not necessarily a complaint, more of a 'that's just the way our cookie has crumbled'. Ping Pong is a tradition from my family. In our home, we kept a Ping Pong table up in the basement for months at a time. We would have friends over for all night tournaments or just played us four. Everyone could usually beat mom. No one could EVER beat dad (which was par for the course with any game we ever played, ever.)
For the second year in a row, my brother did not attend Thanksgiving. He was having a bad day. Unfortunately, he seems to have many bad days. I'm sure... at this point, his absence at events goes largely unnoticed. People are aware, he is uncomfortable with crowds... and honestly, our big amazing extended family is always a crowd.
This year, his absence was not unnoticed by me. After all this time, I should be used too my brother's illness. But this Thanksgiving, the void of him, felt glaring.
I often watch Coach and his siblings, with pure awe. They are incredibly blessed to have each other. To have five brothers and sisters, be so in-tune with each other is a gift. Being within their presence, is almost like a television show. They are honestly, each other's best friends. They are Tru-ly as amusing, as they seem. They sparkle around each other.
The loss of my brother, to schizophrenia, is an amputation to my family. We are still technically a functioning unit but we have lost a limb. We can still feel the phantom pains, of it's presence... but we are completely unable to walk through life, without a significant (if not totally debilitating) limp.
I missed my brother, all day on Thursday.
I missed him, celebrating his god-son's birthday.
I missed his old humour.
I missed whispering to him, about our parents.
More than anything, I missed him at the Ping Pong table... he most certainly would have taken The Golden Paddle Crown, from Coach.
I hope my three children, grow to be like Coach and his siblings. I hope they become tru friends. I hope they annoy/seriously amuse each other with daily mass test messages. I pray they consider vacationing together fun and not a chore. When they leave the house for a drink, or run out of gas, or need help carrying something heavy... I hope they are each other's first phone call.
I hope they always have each other.
It is much to painful, to not have.