I haven't blogged in a very long time, or at least, I haven't actually finished and subsequently published a post in a long time. A lot's happened. I started my own awesome wedding business, accidentally got into marketing and PR, and began building a national wedding web site. (tba)

And then my little brother, Jeff, became sick.

It started as a really scary car accident that we were grateful he survived. A few broken bones, a swollen leg, nothing too serious. Then the swollen leg required surgery, and he contracted a vancomycin-resistant infection in the hospital. We spent weeks taking turns with the kids going to visit him, taking him magazines, books. His condition was said to be improving, but the infection got into his bloodstream and then around his heart, and then he suddenly died.

There are a million things I could say, and for the past two weeks I've thought of them all. I could write something beautiful about how many amazing memories we had as kids, how our relationship became more complex, about all the things we overcame together, including, at the very end, how Justin and I worked with Jeff and his fiancee to get him away from the opiate dependence he had picked up after years of living with chronic pain, about how proud I was of him for getting his life together, about how he'd finally met someone who could keep him in line and how he had a plan for his life and was helping with his son so much. About the day I came home and found him playing T-ball in the front yard with Noah and Arthur, or the times he sat with me and talked about his hopes for his son, the times he suddenly appeared at my door with ice cold Mexican cokes (because they don't have high fructose corn syrup and they come in glass bottles), the times he brought paletas. Jeff was the only person on the planet, my husband included, who remembered my very peculiar likes and dislikes when it came to food: how I prefer coconuts and creams in paletas but preferred fruit desserts over chocolate in everything else, how I don't like cake that much but like tres leches because it's moist, how I love strawberries but don't really like strawberry ice cream or love watermelon flavored candy but not watermelons. I could write volumes about how volatile our relationship was and how deeply we loved each other and how Justin thinks the two were inextricable. How he was the only person I know besides Justin who I have always felt was intellectually my better, and how nearly every single night since he died I close my eyes and he wakes me up to tell me I am doing a good job and what he wanted with his funeral and with his son and keeping everyone together.

I want to write everything I can remember about him, every moment, every expression, every detail of him, so I never forget over the coming decades of my life I will have to live without him.

But I am not ready to write all that yet. I just want to say that there is no relationship in my life that will ever be like my relationship with my brother, and that my brother and I had a very deep powerful connection, which sometimes made us absolutely despise each other, but always loved each other, and that no one in my whole life, not even my husband, has bragged about me or adored me the way he did, and that my heart is broken for his little boy, who I pledged that I would care for no matter what, and that I want my children to love and care for each other with a sense of responsibility and true devotion the way I loved my brother.

I miss him so much, and I will probably miss him every day for the rest of my life. He was an incredible, often completely douchey, absolutely insane, hypersensitive, quirky, brokenhearted, brilliant, beautiful soul who left this earth too soon.

I miss you so much, Jeff.