I grew up 8 and 10 years apart from my older siblings. By the time I came into the world they were kinda growing out of the playmate stage. Subsequently I spent a lot of time around my mom until I was about 4 and we met the Lofton & Catchings family. They both had a 5 year old (Kelli and Kevin) and a 1 year old (Kaleb and Krystal) and I was in HEAVEN. Playmates! Our families kind of… amoeba morphed together and you couldn't tell where one family started and ended. Looking back I had classic "middle child" syndrome being that no one was really my age, but no matter, I was just happy to be somewhere people enjoyed my company for real. We ended up at the same grammar school and for the most part the same high school. Besides my actual family, they have been truer family to me than anyone. They know me and I know them... inside and out. I honestly don't remember a time when I didn't call the parents my Uncles and Aunties and the kids cousins or my brothers and sisters.
The sudden loss of Kaleb (at 23 years old) this past Monday… shook me to my center. I didn't cry right away but I couldn't focus. It was like… my ears were ringing continually and my vision wouldn't correct. My brain has developed a way of coping with situations - basically it pushes it OUT of my brain so it doesn't exist and I don't have to deal with it. It PROBABLY isn't healthy? But honestly it helps me to keep moving. And that's all I think is KEEP. MOVING. But my brain can't move past it because it keeps reminding me of what happened while at the same time trying to push it out of my brain… and it knows I have to deal with it.
I truly cannot understand it. Every time I think about it I shake my head no involuntarily because I can't... make any sense of it. I haven't really told anyone about because I can't make my mouth form the words.
Kaleb is my family, he's my brother... the Catchings family is part of my heart and even though I'm dealing with it in my own way doesn't make me any less family or any less devastated. People mistake my quietness for passiveness at times.
My comfort has been that I get the privilege of seeing Kaleb again in Heaven cuz I know it's a real place. I feel like it's a phrase that gets passed off until a passing but I haven't been more sure about much in my life - I KNOW where he's at and that gives me hope to hold on to.
Kaleb, I love you. I will see you again.