I remember watching you get ready for work when I’m about 4 or 5. You step out of the shower onto the blue tile floor, the towel wrapped firmly around your hips. The bathroom is muggy and warm from the hot shower, and the scent of Irish Spring hangs pleasantly in the air. Wiping the foggy glass of the bathroom mirror, you begin working the thick shave soap onto your cheeks. The razor flashes silver as you slowly, carefully shave the fine fuzz from your face. Next comes the powder. Shower to Shower. You dash some of the stuff onto a white fuzzy puff that always reminds me of a Tribble. It goes under your arms, across your chest, and inside the towel for good measure. You wink at me, and crack a smile.
“Gotta stay dry, Bran. Never forget that.”
I never have.
Grooming was a ritual. An Art. You never rushed. You always took your time. You always seemed to take your time at everything. Your words. Your movements. When you worked at the restaurant you seemed to just float from one task to the next. You weren’t slow. You moved too deliberately and with purpose. But you were effortless. I remember how you always wore a crisp, white apron folded down and tied around your hips. I remember how -no matter how busy the restaurant was, how hard you worked -that apron was still spotless at the end of the night. Pristine. No matter how tired you were, how ragged, you were happy. Content.
You weren’t perfect. No one is, and you would have been the first to admit it. You had your rough days like the rest of us; but you were always remarkable. You were so easy to talk to, and so easy to laugh with. You may not have known this, but you had this…glimmer. Did you know that? You loved in a way that shone like starlight. You may not have always felt righteous or good, but you should know that your presence always filled me with joy. It was because of your glimmer. It was genuine. It was pure. And I will always love you for it.