You would be 32 today...

June 30th
(Plain and simple, June sucks... June also marks 4 years since I have seen my brother.. because he passed away 13 days before I was to fly home for my sisters wedding...)
This picture is a great picture of him, as he hated getting his picture taken. This was taken the day I left for Japan... we spent time at a Kid's Place for the kids to play... it became one we hated seeing because it was on the obituary and everything...

I always dread this day.. well at least for the past 3 years I have. The past 3 Junes have come and gone so quickly and with it another part of my heart breaks off and leaves me. For the past two weeks I have thought of this day, daily... multiple times. I use to love June 30th. I use to love to try and figure out what kind of gift to give.. what was wanted, what was needed. Now all I want is just to be in East Texas... to visit the place we put your ashes to rest.. and well, I can't. 
This was his new car. He was so proud of this Tahoe.... the only time I was able to see it was at the junk yard after the wreck... not good. 
The last day I ever saw my brother in person again, alive. The last day I touched him, hugged him, spoke to him face to face.. 2008... the day I flew out to Japan.
Shane was painting a mural at his work (home for children).. he was coming home late that night from working on it when he has his wreck. This is when I went home.. I was six months pregnant. I wanted to see it... that day, earlier before the wreck... I had opened an email at work from my mom of a picture of the zebra face that he had texted her...

Brittany and I have really been blessed with an amazing life. We have a family that so many people only dream of having. I would dare to say that we always thought we were lucky and that bad things didn't happen to us. We have lived a happy life... growing up with parents that loved us, a mom we have always been super close with, and the awesome chance to have a Big Brother who we have not only looked up to and admired but relied on to have our back any time it was necessary--- and even the times it was not necessary. We have always trusted that God has a plan for our lives and that everything happens for a reason. On December 3, 2009 our world changed, was shattered, and even our faith was rocked.
To the right: Last day with my big brother...
Below: Brittany and our big brother...

My last *extended* Family Christmas with my big brother... and would be one of the last ones we ever had again... 

You can read my first blog post after hearing the news here and Britt's here. You can also visit our sweet mom's blog here! 
The summer before I moved to Japan.. eating at Casa Ole' with my mom and brother... I remember that day- he was down about something. I hated it when he was down... my brother. I always worried about him.
Memories and pictures are all we have left. I want so bad to go read through my personal blog and read all of the things I wrote during that first year.... that is all I could write about. My heart just hurt so bad. I know people got tired of hearing about it... so I honestly started just to keep it to myself. I want to go read it.... I want to listen to the voicemail from him.. but I just don't have the strength. Not today. 
Shane and his baby boy, his mini-me today, Ashtyn... this picture.. his piercing blue eyes! 

Tomorrow perhaps. Yes, tomorrow. June 30th. The day we celebrate the day my brother was born. The day we celebrated him for 29 years. June 30th, the day he was welcomed into this world and December 3, the day he was taken from this world. Even as I write this- as I write that... it doesn't seem real. When does it become real? Ever? I hate both of those days. June 30th and December 3rd. Will I ever be able to enjoy these days and just celebrate my brother? Instead on June 30 and December 3 I try and busy myself and when I do find time completely alone... I do read blogs, listen to voicemails, watch his Funeral DVD. It is what I do on these unwanted days. It is how I grieve on these days.. I think I will do this forever. 
Shane and his baby girl... Addi

Shane and his oldest daughter, his first born, Chloe.
Shocking? I don't like to cry in front of people or show my feelings... even in front of my husband, I don't like to cry. Never mind the fact that we have been together since I was 16... I do not like for him to see me cry and when I am so sad and heartbroken... I do not want to be physically comforted. Is that weird? I want to be alone... to cry alone... to do it my way. And for the most part I do. June 30th is just another day to most... even extended family don't have to mourn the way we do on this day. Mom, Dad, Britt, and I... our hearts grieve like no other. I can't imagine what my parents go through... remembering this was the day their first born, their only son was born. Ugh.

Shane with his kids.. He loved his kids. They were his world... He was one of the best daddy's out there.. one of the main reasons I will NEVER understand. There are so many fatherless children or kids that have terrible dads... and one of the best ones who loooooved them.. was taken. 
I have thought for weeks what I could do to make this day special in honor of Shane. I have come up empty. I had decided to do a run with Noah... but couldn't find one that was close enough... I thought about letting off my own balloons.. anything.... But what I want is just to be home. I want to let off balloons with his three amazing children. I want to make cookies cake with them and put "Happy Birthday, Daddy" on it... I want to visit the cemetery. I want!!! But I can't. Instead, year after year.. I sit here alone. These are the times I really hate not living in the same area as my family.. because I can't be there. Mom was telling me about their plans for tomorrow... she carried on telling me what they were doing and was explaining that she bought something (phone was breaking up)....

"to take to him...."
These pictures are from Shane's 30th Birthday... his first one not to be on this Earth. This is what they have done each year and will again this year.. today! They don't really get it... These beautiful, sweet, kids... should not have to go to a cemetery to 'tell' their Daddy Happy Birthday.
Funny how certain things can set you off. I about lost it. To.Take.To.Him. Why isn't he here? Why does she have to 'take something to him' at a cemetery? NO MOM should have to do that. I couldn't even ask her to repeat what she said she got- I assume it is something for his grave. How I wish I could go. I can count on two hands, and closer to one.. how many times I have been there. I wish I could just go. The fear and oddness I use to feel at cemeteries is no more. I remember after I had my little boy and we went home when he was 3 months old. I finally, FINALLY, after days of being there... went to see my brother's headstone. I had only seen it by email (it is perfect)... but I took Noah with me. I held my sweet boy, sat on my brothers grave, talked to him, and just cried... then when I couldn't do that anymore I started straightening the things that are around his grave, wiping the tombstone... I remember not wanting to leave. I wanted to stay there.. I wanted him to show up.. to hug me.... to tell me that life was going to be ok... I wanted him to meet his nephew.... he was FINALLY an Uncle Shane.... but he would never hear those words come from my or Britt's kids. Life really is not fair. 
The perfect headstone for him... my mom, dad, sister, and myself worked hard together to pick this out... his kids were his world.. so it is perfect. 

I HATE those dates.. and seeing them so permanently here.. 
I could go on... but it is best emotionally to stop. 
As you go about your day please say a pray to whatever God you believe in for my family-- particularly my mom, dad, sister, and my brothers kids. 
June 30th, I am so thankful for this date.. because this is the date that my big brother was born and I am SO thankful to have had so long with him... but I sure don't want you to be here... I don't want to think about this. It is easier to push it back.... it is what I do. 
-Big Sis