Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bittersweet November

"Sweet November" is what I say when I think of the month of November. November is the month of both my older sis and younger bro birthdays and not to mention Thanksgiving and Black Friday! But since Ryan and I got back together again in 2006...November has never been the same...for me that is...
When November comes around. I get sad. Why? I think about my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law passed away 5 years ago coming this November 27. I tear every time I think about him. Why? I miss him. I miss what we could have been if he was still here.  
I don't have a lot of memories of him. So, the few that I do have, I will cherish them forever. 
I must of told this story a million times...This is one of the sweetest memories I have of my brother-in-law I will never forget and because every time I think about this memory I have of him, I smile. It brings joy to my heart. 
The first time I met Joel was back in 2003. Ryan and I just started dating and he brought me over to his house to meet his brothers and cousins. I still remember walking up those stairs to see a small dining table area which is now where the stove & oven is. A big wall that divided the kitchen from the living room that has now been torn down, completely transformed and made in to a beautiful granite kitchen counter. I was overwhelmed with the many faces I saw that night. Ryan has a lot of brothers and cousins. lol. I remember Loreena (cousin-in-law) still had her braces and Brandon (my youngest brother-in-law) chubby cute round face. There was one brother who I didn't get to meet...(Ryan was calling his name but he was nowhere to be found). It was getting late and time for me to leave so I went in the car. I wasn't in there for more than a few minutes when someone knocked at the window, open the door, shook my hand and said "Hi my name is Joel. I'm Ryan's brother. Nice to meet you." I've never had anyone who've I've yet to meet go out of their way to greet me. I thought it was the sweetest thing. It was nice. It was warm. It was genuine. It was comforting. I felt special (blushing with big smile).
 When Ryan lived in an apartment with his cousin. He was always the one to open the door and greet me when I walked in. We never talked much because Ryan always wanted my undeviated attention. Hehehe. 
I miss him. Ryan misses him. We all miss him.
I wish he was here...I wish Natalie could meet him...
When November comes around...Ryan's not the same. I sense some sadness and I can see he just isn't his usual happy self. When I ask if there's something wrong he says nothing but I know my husband. I know he misses his brother. He doesn't even have to say it, I just know it. 
Ryan is the guy who you never see cry or get emotional. He's what you call a robot. You seldom see him get mad or speak negative about anything. That's one of the things I love about him...he's carefree, optimistic and positive. But in spite of it all, he hurts and one thing I know for sure is...he's hurt that his brother is not here.
This past month...We've haven't had the best nights. (MIL if you are reading this PLEASE don't mention this to him or my butt will be in BIG HUGE trouble). But I have to get this off my chest...He's been smoking...Yes! SMOKING! We've been getting in to small arguments about his smoking because he NEVER smokes. I've noticed a pattern since 2006 every time November comes around, he smokes. I thought about it over and over. Why November?!?!?! When I finally realized...Could there be a connection between November (his brother's month of death) and his smoking (only in November)? When I ask him "Why are you smoking?" He gets defensive and says he's stress. Stress about what?!? Like I mention husband is never stressed. Never. I stress for the both of us. That's when I knew it was about his brother...
After a sleepless night, thinking of possible reasons why he feels the need to smoke...I came to an understanding he needs that time to himself. A moment for his brother. So I'm letting go...

Hoping and praying his smoking doesn't become a habit or an addiction.