In life there are no beginnings as also there are no endings. Well, I guess that isn't true, because there was a day my life did begin and there will once again be a day that my life will end. Regardless, life is broken up in sections or "chapters," however you never truly know when one chapter has ended and the next has begun until the next chapter is already in play. My life is no different.
I grew up as the eldest of seven children. Really the eldest of eight children, one of which passed when he was very young and before most of my siblings ever came into being. When I was very young it was me, my mother, and my grandparents. Much happened during this chapter in my life, but I was very young. My next chapter began when my mother met my step father. The next perhaps was when my first sibling was born and then the next. All of those chapters faded one into the other, with very gray areas. When my brother passed it was a major change in direction.
My step-father was abusive, and this truly caused many issues that followed my family on into adulthood. I wonder, however, how much did the loss of Stephen, the loss of my brother create a change in even those who never met him? I remember him in life, but unfortunately the memories etched forever in my brain are those sitting in a funeral parlor. I was seven when he passed away. I don't know if I truly understood what death was. But there he was laying in a small casket on display in the front of a room.
For months after this funeral I would pretend that I was talking to him on the playground during recess after lunch. He became my imaginary friend. It is hard to remember a lot from that time. Things came and went so quickly, because not too long after his death came another life. Christopher came along the February following Stephen's death in November. This, however is another story to be told another time...