25 Years

By: Staci Stallings

Today I’m sending flowers.  They aren’t flowers I ever thought about sending or considered sending.  I never thought, “I need to do that” five years ago.  But today I’m sending flowers.

Now I’m not a flower-sender usually.  I can probably count the number I’ve sent on one hand using about three fingers.  But you see, today is special, and I want to mark it.

Today my brother would have been married to my sister-in-law for 25 years.  I was in their wedding.  The third bridesmaid.  The only one in the whole wedding party (sans ushers) who was a sibling of either one.  That was when I was a freshman in high school, and I probably didn’t appreciate the honor enough back then, but I do now.

A lot has changed since then.

Sometimes when things change drastically as they have for my family, things fall apart.  People get angry with each other and say dumb things, hurtful things, things that can’t be repaired with an “I’m sorry.”  Sometimes when things change drastically, people blame each other and drive a wedge between themselves and those who are still here.

I am in awe of my family for that reason alone.

Not only did my brother’s death not drive us apart, I believe in some ways it has brought us closer.  I know I appreciate my sister-in-law more now.  She is amazing–strong and kind.  She has not blamed or berated anyone over what happened.  Instead, she has held on with grace and tenacity, believing that her kids deserve to have both families in-tact and working to make that happen.

So today I’m sending flowers.  It’s not much, but 25 years especially under adverse circumstances should be celebrated.

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