The death of my brother (Aaron Thaler) was devastating.
I was a few weeks shy of 3 years old when Aaron was born, so he was a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
My father was in the Army and we grew up overseas. I didn’t really get to know my extended family until I was a teenager and I never had the same friend for more than a couple of years.
That made my relationship with Aaron even more special. He was that one person I was able to play with and fight with, all throughout my childhood years. He was my only consistent friend.
We had our ups and downs together. Many battles were fought and a lot of blood was spilt. However, no grudges were held. After a few days, we would laugh about the last fight as if it was all a game.
Aaron died suddenly and I spent the first month in a state of shock. Eventually the reality hit me and I went into a deep state of depression.
I will always miss my brother.
Reposted from 25 February 2017
Twenty years ago, there was a quadruple homicide in this house. The victims were teenagers and they were killed for accusing a young man of stealing a cell phone.
The guilty individual, as well as his two accomplices, were convicted and the house was eventually abandoned.
I drive by this house all the time and this week I was compelled to look inside of it. It’s hard to describe how I felt entering the house.
There was a mixture of sadness and grief, due to the senseless murders that happened here. I can’t even imagine how those poor teenagers felt as they realized their lives were coming to an end. Also, I felt angry. How can someone be so evil and callused?
I didn’t know the teenagers, but I feel for them and their families. I wonder what they would have accomplished if their lives were not taken from them.
I left the house with a heavy heart and a lot of questions.
Update: The house has been torn down since this was originally posted.
Today is Aaron’s birthday. He would have been 42 years old. I thought I would honor the day by sharing one of our adventures together as children.
During the summer of 1988, my brother and I spent most of our free time exploring the woods and playing in a creek.
One day, we were hanging out in the woods and fishing. We had a bucket full of fish, but it started to rain. Neither one of us wanted to leave, since we were having so much fun.
I suggested we take the bucket of fish home and put the fish in our bathtub. That way we could continue having fun while we were at the house. Aaron thought it was a great idea, so that’s what we did.
My mom came home from work, as she passed by the bathroom, she saw Aaron sitting on the toilet with a fishing pole. She went into the bathroom to find out what in the world her son was doing.
When mom looked into the bathtub, she went ballistic. She started yelling at both of us to get those **** fish out of the there.
We put the fish back into the bucket and walked down the street. We decided to release the fish in our neighbor’s pound. Once we got home, Mom made us scrub the bathtub multiple times with several different cleaning solutions.
Personally, I think she may have overreacted just a little bit.
To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. (Charlie Chaplin)
Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. (Joseph Campbell)
Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have — life itself. (Walter Anderson)
Life has to be everything. It can’t be all sad. It can’t be all peaches and cream. Because, the lows have you appreciate the highs. And the highs give you perspective on the lows. If it’s not everything, it becomes flat or mundane. – Sterling K Brown
I have missed Aaron so much these past four years. I think about him during those big life event, like when Gwen graduated from high school. I also think about him when I am off on some crazy adventure. I laugh and think to myself, “Aaron would have loved this.”
I wish you were still here. You should be here.