Nicknames

When I started writing, I figured it would be mostly current events in my not so interesting life. But recently, every time I sit down to write, words upon words about my brother come out. I decided that’s okay. At some point I will naturally talk about him a little less, and that will be okay too.

But for now, he’s often on my mind.

When he is especially on my heart and mind, I wear my “Team Justin” bracelet from his benefit two years ago. When I want to be slightly more discreet about it, I wear two bracelets my friends gave me after he died. One has a motorcycle charm, and the other a personalized name of, “Gus”, my brother’s nickname from when he was young.

When we were teens my brother and I gave each other the nickname, “Fatty” and greeted each other with, “Hey, Fatty” for years. Soon after Justin died, I just wanted to see his handwriting again. So I pulled down a box of letters from my closet and found a card he had mailed to me in 2003. He had listed, “Fatty” as his return address. I smiled and laughed as I read it because he always sent me the most inappropriate cards. I loved it.

About a year ago he asked me to stop using that nickname for him. I asked him if Gus was okay. He replied, “that works.” And so I switched. My friends took note of it when they decided to give me something to wear when I’m missing Justin.

Sometimes people’s thoughtfulness is overwhelming in a good way.

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