Today is a difficult day.
Three years ago, we said goodbye – one last time – to my brother-in-law Justin. It feels like yesterday and, at the same time, it feels like it was a long, long time ago.
I think of him every time I see his daughter and smile knowing how proud he would be of her. I think of him when I’m watching my kids participate in their favorite activities – hockey, dance, choir, lacrosse – because he always made a point to cheer them on and I miss the fact that he can’t see them grow up. I think of him when my wife and her youngest brother are together because it’s clear there’s a piece of them missing. I think of him when I see my in-laws sitting quietly at the end of the day knowing how much it hurts not having him around.
I miss his smile, his tell-it-like-it-is approach to life and his joie de vivre.
Earlier this week, I caught up with my parents – they were on their way to northern Ontario to visit my mom’s side of the family – and to honor the 45th anniversary of her father’s death. For a brief moment, I heard a bit sadness in my mother’s voice and that’s when I realized that it won’t get any easier.
What matters today is the life he lived and the difference he made in all of our lives while he was among us.
Be well Justin and keep watching over us.
You are deeply missed.