04-01-2007 02_09_04PM04-01-2007 02_55_25PM - Version 2_Fotor

My sweet little brother. I love you so very much. We were a pair right from the start. You were always there for me. Bouncing back and forth from our parents’ houses when we were younger. Our bond was so special and unbreakable, even as we got older, went to different colleges and lived in different cities.

I will forever remember our moments together, playing made-up games, like running on the flowers on the rug in Mom and Dad’s room and performing magic shows, making spooky houses and organizing the Spy Kids at Dad’s house, to creating so many things-plays, stories, movies, webpages, even a Punk & Ska ‘zine. You never stopped creating amazing things—from the first website for our punk band the Dissidents at the age of 12, to developing an automatic update for the CT Punk & Ska website, to working on practical projects in Artificial Intelligence, to founding Beansprock.

Your love was so strong for everyone and everything. I remember you would carry the cage for our bird, Blinken, upstairs to sit it on the couch so he could watch us play video games. When Mom and Dad went out to dinner, you and I would clean up the house to surprise them and you would get that cute little smile on your face, your dimples ever present, as you scurried around to make it just perfect.

I wish I could be saying these things to you at your wedding—I always imagined what I would say, about our wonderful adventures, about our laughs together. No one could make me laugh the way you did. You could just crack Mom and me up, all the time.   My favorite time was when you would laugh at something very silly and not even that funny, but then you’d start laughing at yourself, and it would continue until you had everyone at the table laughing, at the silliest thing.

From the time you were young, children and animals would flock to you. I remember dogs always loved you. You were a gentle, sensitive child and understood animals and children in a way that only especially sweet people do.

You are the BEST uncle I could have ever imagined. Brooke loved when her Uncle Dustin came to visit, and you made such an effort to be there for her—at her birthdays, at holidays, even just to stop by and play with her and give her one of your deep hugs. I remember the look that you gave Noah when you first held him, and the hugs you gave him every time he visited, and the sweet way you said “Oh Noah, I love you.” I am forever grateful that you visited us so often—even if just for a dinner, or to stop by before making your rounds to your closest friends in the city.IMG_2455_Fotor_FotorP1000837_Fotor_Fotor

And all of your siblings felt this way. You made such an effort for each of us—to listen to us, even if just by phone, to be there for us. You never had a bad word. When we complained about something or someone, you could always find the good in that person or that situation. I can’t even remember a time that you were in a fight with anyone—except maybe when you ate the last piece of cake that I had been saving when I was fourteen and I got really mad!sc4_Fotor

The day of your death, I was in complete shock. As an older sister I always worried about you. I worried during fire drills at school as to whether you made it out of the school. I worried when you would spend the night in the city at your best friend’s apartment and I couldn’t reach you in the morning, which was because you never remembered your phone charger! I worried every night, except the night I did lose you, because I saw you the day before. You were so happy and healthier than you ever had been. You saw Brooke and Noah. You were in love with Marcio and you were with family and ready to have a great weekend together, doing something we loved—catching all those silly beads.

You were taken way too soon—I can’t imagine playing Catan without having you next to me, I will miss the random phone calls that sometimes were only 30 seconds long—as you walked to work, or while I was walking Noah to sleep in the stroller. I hurt so much for all the things I was sure we would get to do together, all the fun Brooke and Noah and future nieces and nephews would get to do with you.

But I find comfort in the fact that you touched so many people. You always meant the world to me, and our family but what your death has shown me, is that you meant the world to so many people. You were the kindest, sweetest person and most intelligent person I have ever known.

And I now know that not only does my family, but all of us here, hurt so much for the missed dinners, the missed conversations and the missed experiences that we will never get to have with you.   We hurt for the intellectual progress you would have brought to the world, but most importantly we hurt because we loved you so much.

What I now know is that this love will never go away. We will continue to love you and cherish all those memories that we got to have with you. Those 31 years were full of love, laughter, and amazing memories that many of us will hang on to. Let’s remember to keep you in our presence, in our stories, watch your videos, and read your articles to our children, so they can emulate such a wonderful person.

Now I feel your presence but I miss the pat on my shoulder you would give me as you walked by. But I know you are here, watching over us, loving us unconditionally, and knowing that one day we will be with you. Blessed be the day when we meet again, my sweet Dusty.