I also found it strange that of all the weeks for the post topic to be about our biggest heartbreak that would be last week, in the week when the world dropped out from under our feet. In the week that I experienced my biggest heartbreak and devastation. My brother died last Saturday. It was sudden, it was unexpected, yet it was also something we have spent much of our lives dreading in the back of our minds. If you had read this post you may understand more as to why. These are words my dad had put down, that "although solid in his recovery, the beast that is addiction caused him to relapse one final time." Final is something that I hate having to use in my vocabulary. I don't even know how to grasp the concept of that when it comes to my brother. There is a part of me that wants to cry every minute or scream at the top of my lungs, but my body won't let me. There is a part of me that wants to feel angry, but I can't. A part of me that wants to feel that at he is at peace, and while I know he is, I am not there yet. Instead, I don't really feel anything. Not a numbness really, just nothing. There is such a large part of me that still doesn't believe it is real. A part of me that is choosing to do and plan and prepare so that I don't have to fully face the understanding of what is happening. I don't know if that is best but everyone says that people grieve in all kinds of different ways. That's what they keep telling me anyways.
For now, I do not know what else to say so instead I will share with you what I had already written and read at his funeral...
There is a quote I read in a book by Sarah Dessen that says, “There has to be a middle. Without it nothing can ever truly be whole."
From the second I saw this quote I thought “well, yes, that’s definitely the truth. So fitting for my brother.”
John Wayne, you were the epitome of the middle child, maybe because you had it coming and going. During the week I got to play the oldest while Patrick was the baby. And there you were in the middle. Officially you and I were supposed to share that role but when Jaclynn was with us I still think I let you go ahead and take it, since you never really liked to share much anyways. And with your wit and charm made it all your own.
Though our family will never physically be whole anymore we will always be whole. You will always still be there in the middle. In the middle of all of us. We just have an extra bit of crazy with us now, which is fitting given we are and always will be "those crazy Fosters.”
I don’t know if you knew this but sometime in the past year I started to twirl my hair. I thought “well I have joined the crazy hair twirling side of the sibling group now”. When I found myself twirling the hair on the back of my head (John Wayne did this so much as a kid his hair always stood straight up on the back of his head, no matter how much you tried to control it) in the car just a few days ago I thought "oh man, I’m really in for it now." But it was nice, because now anytime I find myself pausing with my hands in my hair I will be able to stop and think of you. I can still remember when you had that alfalfa pulled so tightly on the top of your head that when you shaved your hair off you had a huge bald spot back there because the hairs had just been magically stuck up in place from all of your incessant twirling. It was a good look, but it will never beat the hair do that got you escorted out of chapel when we were at TCS.
I can still remember the scene you caused walking in with your bright blond Eminem hair bobbing down the isle. Mimi had to come pick you up and take you to get it dyed back brown before you were allowed to return to school. I can only imagine what she had to say when you walked in up there. I can just hear her now, after she gives you a big hug, saying “Oh John Wayne!!” and then licking her fingers and trying to rub your tattoos to see if maybe they are just sharpie. Because, while I assume that God gave you a good little spit shine on some of those tattoos, mainly the ones you tried to give yourself, he also let you keep a good majority of them. You would be one who would make it into heaven with most of his tattoos still lingering. I know you got to keep the one for May May.
John Wayne, please know that she will always know you and that you will always be a part of who she is and that we are blessed to have one of the best parts of you here with us. It’s not as if we cant see you in her already. She was beat boxing to me and Wally just the other night. She definitely has a good bit of her daddy in her. And while that may scare some of us, we know that she will be alright. Because when that wild hair of a two year old becomes a wild hair of a young adult she will have the best of both sides of this world in her corner. You could not have picked a better person to be the mother of your child and she will have Kaley to look towards as an example, but she will also have you up there helping God keep watch over her wild ways in order guide her feet to a solid and steady foundation with which to walk from.
I love you. We all love you and you will always be with us, because you are our middle!