Slice of Life Challenge Day 21 #sol18

Today is my brother’s birthday…

A tribute to my brother…he would have turned 48 today.


  • I remember the time we learned our cat bore kittens in the neighbor’s boat.  We looked at each and smiled.  Kittens?!
  • I remember the time we slept in a treehouse Grandpa built for us, probably not safe.  Can’t believe we stayed all night!
  • I remember the time we built our first pinball machine using rubber bands and blocks.  Can we please have Atomic Arcade? we begged our parents.
  • I remember the time we performed on drum kits in my first grade classroom, Mrs. McVey my teacher.  All that practice paid off!


  • I remember the time we snuck out of Grammy’s back door late at night to prowl through her small, eastern Oregon neighborhood.  You got scared and you cried, sorry.
  • I remember the time you performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  You were great!
  • I remember the night we played the church dance, you on drums, me on keys.  Not enough rehearsal, we both agreed.
  • I remember you picked up the bass, the instrument that became your life.
  • I remember we drove you to Arizona, dropped you off at college.

The End

  • I remember you visited my classroom.  You asked me, “Wow, this is all yours?”
  • I remember we spoke on the phone.  “I’ll come see you this summer in Tucson,” I said.
  • I remember I told you I loved you, brother.
  • I remember the phone call.  You were gone, a car crash on Route 10.
  • I remember you, my brother.

Happy Birthday, Seanie.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

13 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 21 #sol18”

  1. I hope these memories brought you at least equal parts joy as tears. I’m thinking these details are important touchstones that continue to influence you today. Thanks for sharing such tender moments with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those memories are still so clear. So good you got to share them again with your dad. Thank you for sharing and showing us how powerful writing is in helping us remember and hold on to the feelings and relationships that mean so much to us when we have to live through such a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lanny, I didn’t really know Sean, but I so clearly remember that night. We sat with your parents in disbelief.
    I love your word pictures of your life with your brother. Lovely and heart-breaking.
    I’m thinking of you today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lanny,
    Your post makes me smile. It made me happy to read your memories. Your post also made me think about the memories I might write about my sister. I am now three years older than my older sister.


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