Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Remembering my brother Travis …

My brother Travis on the left ...

The 7th of July is always a time of reflection for me. Many of you may or may not know that when I was 15, my oldest brother, Travis died in a car accident. He was 17 and that event completely rocked my world. Our family (of nine: Mom & Dad and 7 kids) were on vacation in Wyoming and he died en route to doing what he LOVED most – fishing. I must admit that I cried for many years every night before bed trying to make sense of it all. And tonight as I was about to drift off to sleep I couldn’t help but think of him … He died 21 years ago today.

Looking back, I can see that his life and death have impacted my life more than just about anything else. At a very young age I learned the importance of living each day to its fullest. I learned that what we do matters. I learned that time and new days are a gift. I learned that saying goodbye is not easy. I learned that life goes on. I learned that time really does heal hearts and wounds. I learned that memories can carry us for a long time – as long as we cherish them. I learned that what we choose to do each moment eventually turns into a lifetime of moments. I learned that when you lose someone you love – it’s healthy to talk about them and remember them. And finally, I continue to learn that the missing never really goes away.

PS: I wrote this letter to Travis a few years ago. Warning, it’s a tear jerker …

5 comments:

Rach said...

Thanks for the reminder to reflect back on my own memories of Trav! Sure miss you guys! Love you!

Kylene said...

(sniff) Thank you Wendy. This is beautiful.

Shaela said...

what beautiful lessons you learned from such a difficult experience. you could so easily have learned to be bitter, to hate God, to fear, to horde, to shun closeness with others for fear of being hurt. And yet, despite the pain and heartache, you found life and healing and beauty and hope. thank you for your wonderful example. :)

Wendy Christensen said...

Rach, Kylene and Shaela - Thanks for your kindness. My eyes got misty thinking of each one of you and the beautiful examples you are to me. Love you! :)

Terresa said...

I'm already crying without reading the letter to Travis yet. But I will. Once I find another box of Kleenex.

So true: every moment counts. ((Hugs))