A lot more than you think!
After reading an article on Lifehacker, I decided to do a Google search for my full name. There seems to be many that share this name with me, tons of results, and not all of them good.
Then one result stood out from the rest. It was what seemed to be a copy of my brother's obituary.
I was curious, so I clicked the link.
What I found was a blog post made by a friend of his that had lost touch with him over the years and had just learned of his death, recently.
I was touched by his post. I was touched by my father's words. I felt as if I had been given back a part of something precious that was taken from me long ago.
I lost my brother long before he died. Unfortunate circumstances and not exactly being accepted by my mother as part of the family, made me a stranger to him. I didn't know where he lived, I didn't have a phone number, nor was my mother ever going to share that with me or share my contact info with him.
My brother was one of my favorite people in all this world. He always was. He had a profound effect on my life in many ways. I looked up to him. I wanted to be just like him.
I wish my daughter could have met him. I wish I had more to give her of him than just my memories. I wish they could have gotten to know each other. I know she would have loved her Uncle Steve as much as I did.
I don't have much to remind me of him. A bracelet he made for me when I was 9 years old, a goofy plastic Dracula ear ring I found in his desk drawer when I went to Florida for his funeral, a few very old pictures from when I was about 3 years old, a small clay pot I made in school for him when I was 14....and his ashes (but that's not how I want to remember him)
Finding this blog post was almost like finding him...or at least a part of what he was. The author of the post doesn't know how much of a gift that was...yet. As soon as I can pull myself together enough and think about what I want to say, I am going to email him and let him know how much I appreciated his words.