When my sister in law turned 30, I surprised her with a birthday cake. I was just getting into the cake decorating thing and hers was the first I’d made with fondant flowers. I remember finishing it and sending a picture to my brother. He said he was speechless and “elegant” was the only word he could think of. He was excited for her to see it and he was proud of me.
John never saw The Stamped Lily. He never saw me play around with leather and metal. He never saw me stamp a shell casing or stamp some of Joe’s scrap sheet metal pieces from the garage. Sometimes I dream of what he would have said about it all. I can imagine him designing cuff holders with Joe and telling me all his creative ideas on how to create new cuff designs. I wonder what pieces of mine he would have. Would he rock a keychain? He was pretty bold when it came to jewelry so I wonder if he would have given a cuff a try?
I love imagining what it may have looked like.
I don’t imagine with sadness. Although the tears are stinging my eyes as I write this. I imagine with a smile.
I love remembering who he was and what he would say today. No matter what I’m doing. It’s why we speak so openly about him in our home. As often as we can, Joe and I take opportunities to share a little bit about who John was. At Easter, we talk about how Uncle John loved stale Peeps. It’s the only way he would eat them. When we go camping in the summer Joe retells the story of how Uncle John helped Daddy catch the biggest fish, EVER! And how he coached Daddy through the whole thing. When the kids are playing in the mud I tell them the story of how Uncle John and Mommy used to make Cherry Mud Pies in their playhouse.
The best that they can, they know him.
And we remember him.
So today, as I create in my shop, I’ll let my thoughts drift to my brother. I’ll hear his voice in my head and imagine his creative encouragement over me.
All while thanking him for being proud of me. Because I know he would be.