August 12, 2016

The Significance of a Knife

As many of you know, my younger brother died by suicide in 2009. It was a shock to our family and we still have many questions about it. He was a fun and energetic part of our family and is sorely missed.

When he was alive we had an ongoing joke between us that I was an "office boy" who wore suits and had un-calloused hands and that he was a "redneck" complete with cut off shirt sleeves and a big noisy truck that had a license plate that read "Git er Done" (I am still not sure what that even means). Thankfully he didn't have a mullet!

It was November when he died and we had already drawn names for Christmas gifts in the family. Trevor had drawn my name that year which meant his widowed wife, whom has been a life long friend of mine long before they were married, chose his gift to me. She gave me a pocketknife. The perfect gift for me from my fun, loud redneck brother. He always said you don't go anywhere without a knife.

I have worn it everyday since. It is a reminder of him--and of her--and the love I have for both of them. I proudly wear my knife even with my suits as an office boy. I can tell you that it is really handy. There are plenty of times office mates who know I have it will ask to borrow it to open boxes or something else that needs a knife.

I have had to mail it to myself at an airport because I had forgotten I had it. A few years ago I thought I had lost it and purchased another one as a backup. Thankfully I found it but this week for some reason it went missing so I am using that backup. After 7 years of using the other one it was a bit beat up so it is odd to have such a new shiny knife with me. I went online to purchase another backup and found out that Gerber has discontinued it! GASP! I will have to be extra careful to not lose this one.

So the knife may not seem important to anyone else, but every time I use it I remember that although I work in an office and wear a suit every day that I have a redneck that makes sure I am not completely helpless. It also is a reminder that I have a brother and sister-in-law who love me and whom I love more than words can tell. I miss them both everyday, and my little knife is a testament to how family impacts you even when they are nowhere near.

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