It was a perfect day for traveling and unseasonably warm for February.
I would get them both settled in and my youngest brother and I were off to the hospital. A heart attack along with complications from a diagnosis given in late December of pulmonary fibrosis gave my brother who was just a little more than a year older than me, very little chance of survival. I would spend a couple of hours at the hospital and leave to get some much needed sleep at the home my two brothers shared. My youngest brother works nights, and I'd just barely gotten to bed when a call from the hospital would come telling me I needed to come back to the hospital right away. By the time I got there 20 minutes later, they had been able to stabilize my brother. A long day of ups and downs would follow.
The arrival of my oldest and another younger brother and his wife was a reminder of the importance of family. We would tell stories, laugh and reconnect with one another and share our grief. A blur of days filled with kindness from family and old friends along with unexpected random acts of kindness from strangers was humbling.
The day of my brother's funeral was cold and gloomy. I would give my brothers eulogy being reminded of how fragile and short life can be. And that even though my brother had made his share of mistakes and had bumps and stumbles, he got back up and tried to persevere. I would make the joke that in going through his belongings afterwards, that "I knew more about my brother than any sister ever should ever know about her brother!"
My brother John and I hadn't always gotten along. We had our share of disagreements. Maybe because we were so different. Maybe because we were so close in age. Maybe because we were siblings. Maybe it was all of those reasons.
|My favorite childhood photo of my brother John and me, circa 1965|
I know this grief and the ache of the loss of my brother John will dull as the days pass and life goes on without him. But I will always miss him -- Because he was my brother.