Today would have been my brother's 53rd birthday. It is a day that has always been bittersweet. I want to celebrate his life on this day and honor his memory, but I can't seem to do that until I cry first. I've gotten used to being an only child, but that doesn't mean I don't miss him or wish he was still a part of our daily life.
I do find it interesting that my cousin, Billy, posted that he had a dream about my brother last night. I assume that is Bunk's way of staying in touch. He and Billy were very close growing up and I know it was equally hard on Billy when Bunk died. I don't dream about Bunk that much, but I see him often staring back at me in my mirror. I remember the first time it happened. I was in fourth grade and I looked up from brushing my teeth and he was there. I know that it was my eyes and the way they looked that made me think of him, but the first time it happened I was a little nervous about it.
Since then I have been accustomed to seeing Bunk in my eyes or my children's expression. It is a nice reminder that he was a part of our lives and still is in so many ways. This morning I had several pictures come across my Facebook memory feed. There were quite a few that I had posted of my brother on this day over the past several years. The ones that came to my attention, however, were not those of him as much as the ones of my children. For so many years I would have someone comment on the fact that Cal never smiled in any of our family pictures. As I looked at the ones I had of Bunk, I realized that he wasn't smiling either. In both cases I don't believe it was because they were sad, just serious at the time.
I love to think that Bunk passed that trait on to Cal and many more to the Heinisch children. He couldn't be a part of their lives on this Earth, but I know that he is ever present in our family. So today I wish my brother a very Happy Birthday in Heaven. I wish that he had more time with us. Until we meet again I will cherish the memories of our time together.