It’s Thursday, September 16, the day of the visitation. I don’t even know where to begin. I
wish I could have seen you. I needed to see you to say goodbye. I rejoice in the fact that
just a few weeks ago I put my arms around you. I told you that I love you and I was proud
of you. I will always be grateful for that moment and for the past 23 years.
I wish I could say that I remember the day you were born, the day mom and dad brought
you home from the hospital. I’m sure I was excited. How could I not have been excited to
have a little brother like you, that smile along with that one dimple was enough to melt
Growing up it was always the six of us. We had our ups and downs but we were always
there for each other and always supported each other, no matter what. We never had to
rely on neighbor kids, we always had enough to field our own kickball team or whiffle ball
game. We also enjoyed making up our own games. How can we forget we used to sit in
the back of the station wagon and try to tie ourselves into a human pretzel. The station
wagon as perfect. The back seat was two bench like seats that faced each other and we
used to wrap our arms and legs around each other and pretend like we were in a knot
and couldn’t get out. As I’m sure you remember it never worked but it didn’t stop us from
trying. How about the kitchen concoction game we used to play. I have no idea how it
started, but what were we thinking, feeding each other anything and everything we could
find in the kitchen. It was quite disgusting! I do believe it is because of that game that I do
not like mustard! I could go on and on about our games, I’m sure you remember them too.
We used to play Rummy to10,000, no make that 100,000!
Let’s see Dan do you mind if I call you Dan? Would you prefer Foofur? Foofur, you need
to remind me how you got that one. I’m sure it’s the same way I acquired the nickname
Weiner and Heather, Pretty. How about Shake Man? You were one mean shake maker at
Steak N Shake. I don’t even want to know what you and Jason did to those shakes,
though I will admit they were pretty good. What other nicknames did you have? Bird Man,
that is what the Cross Country and Track Teams called you. I think “Dan The Man” sums
it all up though; I will stick with that one.
The past week we all have been sitting around and reminiscing about the funny moments.
I believe Heathers favorite moment is you and the basketball pole. You and Heather were
having one of your typical discussions and you didn’t believe that your tongue would stick
to the frozen basketball pole. Heather dared you to try it so you did. I’m sure you will
always remember that your tongue did stick. Heather panicked knowing she would be the
one in trouble and yanked your tongue of the pole. I believe you left the top layer on the
pole. I can only imagine how bad that hurt. I just remember you sitting on mom’s lap in the
kitchen with a towel in your mouth unable to talk. What silly kids we were. Greg’s
unforgettable moment was the frozen grapefruit through the window. I’m sure he’s glad
you missed. Do you remember the time you were running up or down, I can’t remember,
the front steps at Sharon’s and you fell and busted your front teeth? I don’t know what it
was, but whenever mom picked us up at Sharon’s something happened. I bust my chin;
you bust your teeth and upper lip. I think Jason and Patrick still get amused and laugh
when they think about you and your stupid human tricks. Who else can clap with one
hand? It is the little silly things like this that we will never forget. The memories we will
As we all grew up we each took a different path in life. Your path led you to the Army. I will
never forget the day I decided to move to Texas. You thanked me for being the first to
leave the next. You thought that would help ease the blow. I’m not so sure it helped. I will
admit that at the time, I didn’t really understand your decision, but supported you none
the less. I thought it was just a phase. It turned out to be the best decision you could have
ever made. You left home a quiet, insecure boy and came home a confident man. What a
transformation! The Army soon became your life, a life you loved and enjoyed. You were
proud of what you did and you were good at it. At age 23, you had found your niche in
life, your calling. That is something that may never find.
Today I say goodbye to my brother. Not goodbye forever, but just to this chapter of your
life. A life too sort, but one filled with love, laughter and friendship. Dan you are an
amazing brother and a great one. I am proud to say that I am your sister. I love you and
will miss you forever.