when i wake up...

some days i wake up with a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. for no reason at all.

or i wake up feeling sad, on the verge of tears. for no reason at all.

or i wake up nervous, anxious, on edge. for no reason at all.

and after a night of sleep, i don't know if i went to bed feeling that way, or if i dreamt something in the night that made me feel that way, or if my discernment is preparing me for something that may happen later in the day.

and i feel confused... and then it disrupts my normal daily activities, my normal daily feelings...

does anyone know what i am talking about? or should i be taking a trip to the looney bin today?

today when i woke up, i was feeling a little bit of all of it. the pit in my stomach, the verge of tears, and just a tiny bit on edge. i am also feeling full of love and nostalgia. and this is a very dangerous place for me to be in. nostalgia can set me into a whirlwind of emotions that will keep my heart and mind absent from my body all day.

it is dangerous to remain in a state of, remember when... a state of, wasn't it great when... a state of, things were better when... or even more dangerous to stay in a state of, that was terrible when... a state of, i can't believe that ever happened... a state of, if only...

but sometimes i am so overcome by the present, that it feels safe to crawl back into my memories of the past. because there is something uncomfortable about the change in the present, something unknown, unthinkable of where the present may lead us to in the future... and nostalgia is comfortable. i know what happened then, i know how it made me feel, and what it made me think.

the present can be frightening, unaware of what emotions or actions may be lurking around the corner. the present can be disappointing, the here and now may not be what i dreamed it would be 5 years ago.

but when i travel to the past, i know what to expect, because i have felt it all once before. and sometimes the comfort of the known is easier to live in than the unknown feelings and disappointment of the now.

the thing is, traveling to the past, staying in a state of nostalgia and remembrance, will keep you living in the past. it will deny yourself the joy and peace of understanding the now.

hearing myself talk right now, i sound like a crazy person... and perhaps i am.

but right now... in this moment, while trying to live in, and accept, the present for what it is; i can't shrug the nostalgia.

i can't shrug the stories of matthew and patrick tearing the blankets off the bed, and sleeping on the floor in between the beds, so they could be closer. or having sleep overs in the back yard tent. i can't seem to get the picture of them in their snowsuits, sitting in a sled, loving on one another, out of my head. a little brother following the steps of his brother to college, and making each other laugh til matthew pukes. talking about sports, and dreaming they were on the tv instead of the morons giving the sports report. brothers dreaming, and living, knowing they would be more than brothers, they would be best friendsforever. knowing they would grow old still together. i can't stop thinking about the best of friends they were their whole lives, depending on one another, loving one another, understanding one another.

i cant stop picturing my over the top friend screaming obscene things to me in chapel, his loud voice carrying over all the hustle and bustle of the chapel. my thoughts drift to notes left from aunt with clear instructions that pat boucher was not allowed over while she was gone. i am remembering afternoon movies, and msn chat conversations. i can't shake the cold pizza dropped off at my dorm after hours; or sneaking out, or sneaking back into the dorms, so i could spend some more time with my dear friend. his loving toast given to us on the day my friend became my brother.

a brothers love, a friendship, family ties that can't be broken, but can be stretched.

2 weeks after we got married, he moved across the country. he left his brother, newly married to a bizarre girl, without his best friend. he left his new sister in law, without one of her dear friends. he left to start himself a new life, he wasn't leaving us... but still... it felt like he was leaving us.

and he made himself a different life, a life far away from our own, and instantly it changed our perception of the future, our dreams of what life would be. patrick wouldn't be there for sunday dinner, he wouldn't be there for drinks on saturday night. he wouldn't come over on his lunch break, and matthew would watch packer games without his brother for the first time in his life. patrick wouldn't be there when we bought our first house, and he may not be there when his first niece or nephew comes into the world, when his baby brother becomes a father for the first time. they can't build a sports broadcasting empire on opposite sides of the country.

when he comes to visit, we have to share him with other people. matthew doesn't get his family, his brother, his best friend, all to himself. and in the last 2 1/2 years our lives have been lived separately from his. we live different lives, in different places, and we miss him everyday.

and when we come together, we never get to see him as often as we would like, because we would like to see him every moment, we would like it to feel like he never left at all. and it makes us miss him even more.

and it keeps me looking to the past, when we dreamed of living life with patrick, not apart from him.

and that keeps me from the present, keeps me from enjoying the brother we have now. and i am constantly at battle in my mind, trying to pull myself out of the past, and into the present, so i can enjoy having him here and now, no matter how short, or sparse, that time may be. i have to make an effort to pull myself out the the past dreams and expectation, and into the place it has become. i could stay dreaming in the past forever, but i would miss out on the here and now.

and days like today, i wake up feeling nostalgic, and sad, and a little sick... but looking forward to every moment i get to spend with my friend, every moment matthew gets to spend with his brother, his best friend.

know, patrick, that we love you. we miss you everyday. we wish our lives were not so far apart, and we treasure every moment we get to spend with you, and wish there were many many more of them. know, we love you forever, no matter where your life takes you, or how far away you are. know, you are missed. know you are welcome anytime, for any reason. know patrick, you are the pest brother in law anyoen could hope for, that you are still my friend. know, patrick, that you are still matthews big brother, you are still his best friend. know, patrick, that nothing can change that... that you will always be in our heart.


  1. thanks for the nice post... I kinda knew where you were going to go when I started reading the beginning. I also think there may be a freudian slip in there at the end, because I'm sure in some ways I am the "pest brother"

  2. patrick,

    that is so funny that i wrote pest... and i am not editing that, because that is hilarious.

    and of course you would know where this was all leading... straight to you.

    we love you. and are so glad you are here.

  3. patrick, you rule.

  4. Jennifer10:07

    After the title I was really expecting that the next line would be-- yeah I know I'm gonna be I'm gonna be the man that wakes up next to you.

  5. jenn, if i had any brain at all... it would have been. i need you here to help me write my blogs.

  6. you guys can have him.

  7. Anonymous20:32

    what a sweet post. it is hard to oscillate between the two...especially when you have such wonderful memories!!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts