Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Youngest Brother, Mark


Today would have marked the 27th birthday of my youngest brother Mark. Mark passed away just a few short years after Joey, and every time I think about Joey I think about Mark. They were the best of friends. And Joey adored Mark (all of my kids do). While losing my brother was more painful that I really have words to describe, there is comfort in knowing that both my son and my brother now have each other in heaven.

Mark was an incredible kid and adult. Despite facing numerous health challenges and physical ailments, he completely embraced life. He loved to laugh. He had a healthy sense of humor. His eyes always had this mischievous sparkle. He loved video games and on his own studied a great deal on game design and programming. He was beyond smart and could connect the dots on things way above my head. He was kind and loved babies. When he first met my youngest, James, he instantly bonded with him. He was gentle with animals and had a kitten that loved to curl up on his neck and back to sleep.

Mark didn't express his feelings a lot. I would often tease him and tell him I loved him. Typically all I got was a grunt in return, and it always made me laugh.

My husband Brett considers Mark one of his very best friends. He always said that Mark always got him and accepted him for who he was. Losing Mark was a huge blow to Brett, and he misses him just as much as I do.

Mark never complained even when he should have. He spent so much time in the hospital or at home feeling sick. But he would never really express how he was feeling. He just kind of endured it. I always admired his strength, but I often wished I could do more to ease his suffering.

Mark touched many lives. People loved him. People were drawn to him. And he could command the room. He was both quiet and yet larger than life.

From the time he was born to the time he passed, he was a huge influence on my life and taught me about patience, love for others, dedication and passion to the things you love, how to laugh in the face of adversity, and how to live in the moment.

I miss him terribly. I love him like crazy. And I'm so proud to be his big sister. I look forward to the day when I get to see him again.

Happy birthday, Mark!

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful. beautiful tribute Jen! He seems to be a very special human being. Hugs for you an all of those who miss him so much.

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  2. Jen, I am so sorry you have had to endure so much loss. Sending you a great big {HUG}.

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    1. Thank you. That means the world to me.

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  3. Sending thoughts your way on this difficult day. It sounds like it does also invoke loving happy memories along with the awful losses. Best to you and yours.

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    1. I do have good memories of him too. Thank you!

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to your brother.

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  5. Anonymous5:56 PM

    How proud of you your brother and son must be for your faith and strength. Your family is blessed to have you to shine the way through their lives. Peace and love to all of you. Bonnie

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    1. Bonnie, what a kind thing to say. Thank you!

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  6. Great Tribute. Happy Birthday Mark.

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    1. Thanks for wishing Mark a happy birthday!

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  7. there aren't words... I send you a great big hug!!!

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  8. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your brother sounds like a pretty special guy. God bless you all. (((hugs)))

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  9. Sending thoughts and prayers. I cannot even imagine your pain losing your son and brother so early in their lives. Your tribute brought tears. I am hugging my twins as I write and going back to be in the moment totally. I don't want to miss anything with them. Thank you for your post. My heartfelt wishes go to Mark, Joey, you and your family.

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  10. So sorry for your losses! You write so beautifully about both of your lost guys...I'm sure that they always really felt your love!

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