Today marked my brother’s 59th birthday. Celebrating it without him here brought both sadness and joy. Sadness that he isn’t here with us, but joy in the many wonderful memories we hold tightly to.
On his 18th birthday he fulfilled his greatest dream: to jump out of an airplane. Skydiving from that day forward became one of his greatest passions. I never could understand this love he had for the sport, but I loved watching him make jumps, holding my breath in the free fall until finally I could see his sky blue parachute open for his gentle decent to the ground.
This morning I received an unexpected text from a relative in California who knew my brother well and had seen him skydive in year’s past. While driving along the coastline, she looked up into the sky only to see a lone skydiver, enjoying a beautiful morning in the sky.
Knowing it was my brother’s birthday, he came to her mind immediately and she snapped a picture to share with me. I saw it and my heart skipped a beat. Signs and wonders. These are the things that sustain me in my grief. They bring comfort and assurance that while he is no longer here on this earth, he is still near.
Happy Birthday, Don. You are so greatly missed, but will never be forgotten.