It’s always a funny day for our family, this one.
It should be my brother’s birthday. Well, I say should be – it is.
But he isn’t here.
My brother Ross passed away 13 years ago, when he was 27, following complications during surgery on a brain tumour. There’s no getting away from the fact that we all loved him very much, and his loss really was just that – a loss.
But it never seems quite right to be mournful on his birthday. Because my brother wasn’t that sort of guy.
He’s the one who taught me some of the silly games that are now my favourites to play with Flea. Like, if you’re walking down a busy street, pick a stranger and say, “Wow, Hi!” in a really surprised voice and then watch as they try and work out where the heck they know you from.
My brother had the most ridiculous sense of humour. He loved pranks. Like the time he put on a hoodie and knocked on the front door and asked me, “Is Ross home?” and I spent 10 minutes scouring the house for my brother. And I still haven’t fully lived down the time he hid under the stairs and somehow convinced me he was stuck in the microwave – and I opened it to check. Yes, I DO know how ridiculous that sounds.
He also taught me the game where as kids, we would walk into the road as a car was coming and then just as they almost make contact with you, fall over and shriek in pain. I didn’t teach that one to Flea, for obvious reasons. Although we gave it up after the day we played it and the driver who thought they’d run me over turned out to be our head teacher. Oops.
So it doesn’t seem right to mourn him on days like today. And besides, life moves on. Life’s a bastard like that.
So I suppose I’ll mark it with a few moment’s thought about my brother, and after school I’ll take Flea to the park, or the beach, and I’ll think about how lucky I was to have someone like my brother in my life while I was growing up. And I’ll write a blog post, so you all know, now, that he was here. And now he’s not. And that’s a shame.