Today is my brother Mason’s 35th birthday. Or, I should say, today would have been his 35th birthday. When someone close to you dies, it’s really difficult to change the verb tense. Mason’s been a present tense for me for three and a half decades. Hard to change my vocabulary and even harder to believe that he is gone from this existence. He still feels so close, as if he’s gone on a trip. Not far, maybe to California or New York, and he’ll be back in a couple of weeks with some really great stories to tell.
The photo above features three great shots of Mason and his funky light fixture (taken by his friend Shannon when Mason lived in Austin) that are in a frame next to his funky light fixture that now lives in my house in Houston. There’s an ethereal quality to the photos that is enhanced by the glow of the various lights shining upon them. It takes my breath away every time I round the corner and see it because it just feels so…alive. He’s too vibrant, too dynamic, too Mason to not be here anymore.
When each of my grandparents died, I understood that they were gone. As in, Granddad was alive yesterday, and today he isn’t. With Mason, things haven’t been so simple. I still can’t completely comprehend that he’s GONE. It’s not denial, exactly, because on an intellectual level I get it. It’s just my heart that refuses to believe the news.
So tonight, James and I are going to get drunk and throw darts on Mason’s dartboard (which is mounted on the wall not far from his light and his photos) and tell stories about the intelligent, sarcastic, funny, loving, kind-hearted, great guy that was, no, IS my brother Mason. Past tense be damned.