... 'cuz I've got 2 younger brothers and 1 younger sister. Sarah, Dan, Josh, and Grace... that's us. The Steffler kids. It's like we're famous or something because when I run into someone that knows a member of my family, they always ask, "Are you a Steffler?" Like we're the Kennedy's or something. We look alike, except Josh. He and Dan were only 1 grade apart in school and I think it was sometime in high school before folks realized they were brothers. Everyone thought they were cousins. Josh looks nothing like the rest of us... lucky guy.
In 2002, Dan died from an accidental overdose. I swear to you the first thought that ran through my mind when I found out was, "And then there were 3." I have no idea why. I think there is a certain amount of pride that comes from being in a large family. It's like Survivor. You've learned how to make yourself heard, how to make sure you get one of the Little Debbies that Mom almost never buys, how to get the right to the front seat occasionally.
I still miss him. I miss him more now that we have kids, because I see him in my children. Emory smiles like him occasionally. She's a little lawyer like he was. Ethan is built like Dan, a little Sherman tank. I wonder what he would have thought of my babies? What would he have thought of Eric?
Don't get me wrong, life was not a bed of roses with Dan. Let's call a spade a spade. He was a drug addict and one of the most unbelievably selfish people I know. But, he was so dang funny. I hate that I will never hear him tell the Earth dog story again, never hear him say "Hands off" again, never watch him needle Dad and giggle at the reaction Dad is so good at giving.
He was maddening at times, but could be oh-so-much-fun too. I'm thankful that I can still see him, if only in glimpses through my kids.