3/21/21 this year was the worst day of my life. Followed by 3/28/21 when I had to celebrate my baby brother's life on his birthday. His book ends are 3/28/1986-3/21/21-3/28/21. He died 7 days before his 35th birthday. Before he died, he told me it was the only birthday he was afraid of. How could he foreshadow that?
There have been dozens of signs to show me he is watching me. He came to me on the solstice and died on the equinox. Call it crazy, he sent me visits from monarch butterflies because he knew it was the only thing I would listen to. My family was gifted exactly one Christmas and 90 days with him. In that time, he showed me what the disease of addiction really looks like and how hard that fight is. I learned to see how bad he wanted to be free of it. I also learned that it wasn't his fault. He was a young man handed a pill from a trusted source.
As I prepare for my new mission to build the Cake brand and publish my first book (more to come), I have spent many days questioning myself. The final sign emerged - to tell me I'm ready for this fight and I can move on.
My business partner Daniel Wise secretly hired artists @hasler_88 & @bigchill8825 to dedicate Cake's third, miracle store, to my brother. It's the most humbling, honoring, and kindest gesture a business partner could do for another business partner and friend. Little did he know that the bench outside our 3rd store bore Joe's birthday. It's literally engraved on the bench and is the day Malibu was incorporated. There must be something magical about 3/28.
They say the 3rd time is a charm.
My bestie Jenna listened to my daughter Zepplyn and I tell Joe I loved him 3 times before he transitioned. Those were the last words he heard. "I love you. I love you. I love you."
Managing the daily grief is something I didn't understand. You have to put it in a pocket to hide it. Then it creeps out at the smallest reminder, one lyric to a song. Every day you have to teach yourself new tricks to cope. You have to face every "first" thing without him around. You see the last thing he touched or the last thing he wrote down. I have seen people with grief. I truly didn't understand it until now.
Last but not least, it is also the year of Saint Joseph. Joseph is the patron saint of the families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people. Our mission is pure. Our mission is protected.
While I face this every waking second, I know that I'm challenging my energy from a place that is wholesomeness.
I fully believe that legal weed is a human right and should be accessible to everyone. Schedule 1 status is a lie that literally hurts our families. It's criminal to continue to pump opiates into our society.