I spent today pushing my cart around Target, thinking about how I could put into words who Chad is when I got home. I was going to write twice: something long here and something short on my Instagram. But I started writing on IG and it turned long and then I had lost all my wherewithal to write again. Fuck, it’s hard these days.

Instead of writing twice, I am pasting what I wrote about my brother below. Maybe on another day I’ll have more to give but right now all I can manage is finishing this mug of lukewarm tea.

If you know my brother at all, you know he makes friends with absolutely everyone and is full of positivity and belief in the good of humanity.

We spent the first fifteen years of our lives together every single day. And I don’t mean the way all families do. I mean we completed our schoolwork at the same table, shared chores, spent hours a day playing dodgeball variations on the trampoline. Every morning after our paper route he and I made hot beverages and played SEGA while the rest of the family slept. The Pelesky siblings spent so much of our lives together we share a language that could rival cryptophasia.

When I started school in tenth grade, Chad already had a legacy there that I could never live up to. Teachers would stop me in the hall and talk about Chad, what a good person he is, how he would say “it’s a great day to be alive” like a mantra and there I was in contrast, a brooding angsty recluse.

Now, Chad is the glue of the Pelesky family, the connector of us. He calls us all and will talk for hours about absolutely whatever we choose. He cares about us each in such a specific way—he pays attention to what others never ask about.

Chad spent most of last week in the hospital while they ran tests on him. They discovered he has a kidney disease that has left his kidneys operating at only 15%. He will need a transplant. Even with a successful transplant, his life will be much shorter than any of us anticipated.

So here I am grieving all the life he will never have, suddenly aware of mortality, feeling its jaws on my skin. I am grieving for his small family and our larger one even though he is still here, watching too much trashy TV I bet, eating too many sweets, chatting up everyone he runs into.

I am writing all of this in an IG post because it seemed less serious than sitting at my computer and writing what would feel there like a eulogy to my living brother.

I want to say: Chad—you have the world’s douchiest name but you are the kindest person I know. You were my first friend, my first partner in cahoots. All of my earliest memories have you in them, as do so many of my favorite ones. If anyone could live forever, I think it should be you.

If you want to give to Chad, you can here.

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