I was probably seven and he might have been eight. It was a sunny summer day and mom had scooped us ice cream cones. He was usually the ornery one and I was the compliant child. Not this day, though. Maybe that’s why I still remember.
Mom handed us the ice cream and I hatched a plan – ice cream on our heads! Yes! This was going to be awesome! I mean, who wants to eat ice cream when you can smash it on top of your head?!
I told Danny my plan and out on the porch we ran. 1…2…3…plop. Upside-down ice cream cones smack dab on top of our heads. Just as it started to melt down our faces, out came mom. She was really mad but it was really funny. We just laughed and laughed.
When I think of all the difficulties and pain Danny faced in life, that is what I think of. When I prayed for him, that was the memory I would remember. When I think of Dan, scarce a thought slips by without the ice cream scene replaying.
And I laugh. I still laugh because it’s still funny. So few things in Dan’s life were fun. There are so many things I don’t understand about how my only brother chose to live his life. It is hard for me to make sense of any of it. Sometimes the nonsensical just makes more sense I guess – especially when you’re forever little kids at heart. I suppose that’s what he was. That is what I am. No matter how old we get, it is what brothers and sisters are when it comes to one another.
Eat an ice cream cone. Remember Dan that way. Surely you will smile.
“You can love without fully understanding.” ~Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It