Goodbye For Now, Chris

This morning, my brother Chris flew back to Ann Arbor to start his second year at University of Michigan.

I was surprisingly more emotional than expected, upon bidding Chris farewell. We won’t see him until December. That’s about four months away. Four months without Chris.

It’s so strange– we don’t fully appreciate a loved one’s quiet presence until they disappear from our lives.

Chris will forever be my role model. He has the biggest heart in the world. One night, when I stormed out of the house in a bitter rage following a fight with my mother, Chris was the one who insisted on driving out to look for me. When I was going through a depressive period during my last few weeks of freshman year at UCLA,, Chris, who had already finished school, called me from home and spent a good two hours on the phone coaching me to lift me out of my low. He’s the one who relentlessly pounded on the bathroom door as I purged, demanding me to get out of there. Following my cutting episode, he’s the one who took measures to throw away all the razors and other sharp objects littered throughout my bathroom.

I can’t express how much I love my brother. Sure, he’s not perfect. He has yet to develop his public persona and let go of the “tough guy” act he puts on for show. Behind that facade, though, lies the one of the greatest, most gifted, intelligent, creative and kind-hearted people I know. I wish more people could see the angel I see.

Today, as I said goodbye to Chris, I clasped his hand through the car window, refusing to let go. As the car rolled out of the garage, he waved to me and smiled, and we continued waving to each other until he was gone from sight. As I reentered the house, I felt my heart aching.

My brother and I made a pact, though. This time around, we will make it a routine to check in with each other at least once a week. Set a standing phone appointment, if need be. Last year, I literally did not speak to Chris for five months straight. Not good. A lot happens to an individual in half a year, especially when that individual is a college student, finding more and more about themselves each day. I’d hate to miss out on Chris’s journey, and I’m sure he’d regret not being a part of mine.

Good luck on your second year at U Mich, Chris! You will kill it there, just like you do with everything else in life. Love you so much. ❤

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