My time.

There is a deeper language than we are consciously aware of; another level of communication that happens in every conversation that we are all more or less aware of.

How does that statement resonate with you?

I recall the last two times that I spent with my late brother, Jack. The first was in his room in Big Sky, MT. Little did I know, he would soon lose his life to an avalanche there. He, myself, and my twin brother, Jay, sat side by side with our backs against a wall. We were making small talk about NCAA basketball. As Jack spoke at some point about something we all knew to be more or less trivial, I saw his spirit coming through, and he was saying something else. It was as clear as if he’d been saying it in plain english.

Buzz-kill: I don’t even remember exactly what he said, but it was a profound message; an epiphany relative to the nature of reality – humanity, love, and our connectedness.

The second and last time I saw Jack was at a family beach house in Pawleys Island, SC. Our entire, immediate family had come together to mourn/celebrate the life of Lori; our youngest sister.

The one thing i remember from that weekend is Jack saying, “Our life seems like a war”. He was referring to our family’s struggle with loss and pain. Lori had just taken her life. I think we all saw her as a casualty, and ultimately the result of my father’s actions on Mother’s Day in 1983. My twin brother, Jay, Lori, and I witnessed our father shoot our mother, and then take his own life.

The three of us were adopted by our mother’s brother’s family. Jack, Miles, Elizabeth, and Laura took us in as their brothers and sisters. Bonnie and Mike Gilliom became our parents.

Jack was framing the struggle we’d all endured. He was speaking to good and evil, love and hate, joy and pain.

If our life is in fact like a war, our family was two less soldiers that year. Lori died in the spring of 1999; Jack in the Fall.

So what about all this? I don’t share this post to tell a sad story. How do you feel after having read this? About your own life, relative to love and hate?

I’m working on being less judgemental with the understanding that we all have our own place, paths, and lessons to learn. I’m working on trusting myself, and on listening to and learning from the deeper language of love.

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