I have warm memories of my brother, especially since he was two years older than me, and we were close growing up. We had a lot in common, like the love of the arts: music, architecture, painting, drawing, poetry and writing. I always thought of my brother as a Renaissance man. When we buried Robin, each family member had the opportunity to put something meaningful into his casket for him to take to the other side. I tucked away a copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #73 into his coffin. I knew he’d appreciate some good poetry, even in the afterlife.
Since that strange November day we said goodbye to Robin, I’ve felt his presence in my life many times. Some of you reading this blog post probably think I’m insane. But too many seemingly “random” or “coincidental” things have happened to me these last 9 years to completely convince me that there are no random coincidences. I know Robin has his invisible hand in events that transpire in my life, especially when there are favorable outcomes, including my path to being a published children’s author.
When my children’s picture book was released earlier this year, my mother said, “Robin would have been so proud of you.” I replied, “I know he is proud of me.” And yes, I sometimes speak about my departed brother in present tense, because after all, he is presently my guardian angel.
Not too long ago, my mom found a copy of Robin’s high school graduation speech from his class of 1984. She read the first paragraph to me over the phone. In his commencement speech, he referenced a line from Shakespeare’s play, Antony and Cleopatra, regarding one’s youthful “salad days” when one is green in judgment. I can honestly say, my metaphorical “salad days” ended the day my brother died–but not in a bad way. His death opened my mind up to a whole new dimension, literally and figuratively.
I often toy with writing a book about Robin, but from the perspective of his current perch from above as an angel, observing our chaotic personal lives and his call to action to intervene when necessary. I know one day he will want me to write this story, and he’ll undoubtedly help guide me through it, looking over my shoulder. And just maybe, “coincidentally,” it will become my best seller.