A tribute to a murder victim.
I used to stand in my place in the stream, where one generation flows to the next, where lifetimes cascade from unseen summits to pool in the deep stillness that stretches beyond every sunset, for there in the stream I could watch a single blossom float by, and I would think of my brother and smile.
A few years behind me, a short ways up in the waters above, he'd found his own good spot in the stream. Though not always able to see him, I could still feel when his words passed in the ripples, hear when his voice echoed from the trees, and laugh at the tales of so many travelers lucky enough to pass his way. Through it all, the waters kept washing around me, and I would know that my brother was there.
He's the one who always loved to watch things grow, a gardener at heart, a gentle man who would coax life from seedlings and dare magnificent flowers to flaunt their beauty for the world. And he's the one who always loved people, a friend at heart, a caring man who dared coax the best from all he touched. Yes, this I've seen, but with so many tales to tell, I know I'll never hear them all.
So I used to stand in my place in the stream, and think of my brother and smile.
But then on one of those brightest of days, the sky fell most wrenchingly dark, and the trees whispered of another man's pain lashing out blindly, an instant of cruel violence that never cared to learn its victim's name. I searched in vain at his place in the stream, but when the shadow had passed, my brother was gone.
I closed my eyes and wept, my tears mingling with those of so many who'd felt him slip beyond our grasp. And the waters churned fiercely, but I stood fast, if only because my brother had left me this moment at his place in the stream. For when I opened my eyes, there before me bloomed the most magnificent garden, and the people he loved had gathered to witness his work, and to promise we'll never forget.
My brother had left the world a better place, a remarkable legacy for one man in the short time he'd spent there at his own place in the stream. We'll all tend to his flowers, we vowed, and by remembering, we'll know he can't ever die.
So we stood in the stream and saw a mournful old flower drop a single blossom into the water. We all watched as it chased after my brother and disappeared into the deep pools of stillness that stretch beyond every sunset, there where our sister, his twin, had passed before us, a reminder the stream stops for no one, and that each place is ours but for a while.
Now I stand here again at my own place in the stream, and though my brother is gone, I remember he did find his own moments of joy, and he shared them with those who bothered to care.
So when a single blossom floats by, I'll think of him and smile, for I do know his name.
Gregory Dean was a good man, and I'll always be proud he was my brother.