I got a call last night from my little sister telling me that I never saw coming. It started with the words that start so many horrible conversations, "...Are you sitting down?"
While growing up, there were 6 of us kids. Five of us were legally and biologically related, and the sixth was a family friend and only child who we regarded as a brother for all intents and purposes. From family vacations, major and minor events, holiday plans, weekend movie nights, to the mundane little errand running and grabbing a quick lunch, the sixth man was always a factor.
Last night, only one day after his 30th birthday, we lost our friend and brother, Cole Spinner.
Only a year and a half ago, when we lost our sister, Kim, Cole was the one who had provided the appropriately inappropriate laughter. He made us smile and laugh in the darkest moments and it was the last thing that any of us thought was possible. But that was Cole; when there was nothing to laugh about, no redeeming moment in sight, Cole made it ok to be ok for a moment. Cole was the glue that held a lot of us together, and while we are better for having known and loved him, the world is a worse place without him in it.
I will be on hiatus for Cole's services, and the holiday. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday, and that you hold tight to the ones you love, and that you don't take them for granted. Be thankful that they are there, and that you can hug them, and that you can tell them that you love them even when they pester you and make you want to tear your hair out. There will come a time for all of us when that can't ever happen again... Make the most of it while you have the chance. Celebrate your family and friends, and friends that might as well have been family. Love them for who they are. Cherish the moments you have when you have them. In the blink of an eye it can all change and I don't want anyone to miss it.