Today would have been my brother's birthday. He should be 56 years old today.
Instead he is perpetually a young man in the minds of all his friends and family.
It was always hard for me to believe his age, anyway. He was such a Peter Pan. To the end he had a childlike openess and unselfconcious ability to enjoy the smallest of experiences.
So, when he died, 15 years ago at the age of 41, he seemed much younger.
Dan lived a full rich life in those 41 years. AIDS took him before we were all ready to lose him.
Dan loved anything to do with ancient Egypt. He was facinated with the tombs of the Pharoahs. So, his best friend, Ellen, and I felt it was only fitting that we send him into the afterlife with the same fanfare.
We filled his coffin with all of his favorite things. Everything we could fit in. Favorite tools. Favorite foods. Favorite drinks. Favorite clothes. Pictures of all the people and pets he loved. Books about the places he had visited, and books about the places he still wanted to go.
So, happy birthday, Danny. Your older brother and sister were at dinner together on your birthday. We were thinking of you with love and laughter. Lots of Danny stories were shared.