Today is the 4th anniversary of my brother’s death. He has been on my mind more than usual this week and I woke up this morning feeling like it must be impossible that he has been gone so long. I can’t believe that I am now the age he was when he died. Where have all the days gone? I miss him so much. I really could have used my big brother’s advice with the whole Zelda thing (Zelda is my white cane).
John(that’s my brother) was sick on and off from the age of 18 until his death at age 48. He knew more than most what it meant to feel different and defeated, but he had a determination that I have rarely seen. We weren’t close as kids; I was the one who swooped in and usurped his title of youngest child, and he had absolutely no use for me, but in the last years of his life we had truly become friends.
We both loved Harry Potter and saw almost all of the movies together. While waiting in line to see “The Half Blood Prince”, a group in front of us kept growing; people coming into the line gradually to join the two girls who had been there from the beginning. John and I had been there for about 4 hours ( we were dedicated), and John was not happy about all the people arriving late and essentially cutting in line. When the line finally started moving, the now pretty big group ahead of us had to gather their blankets and backpacks and purses, so John grabbed my hand and raced up to get ahead of them in line. One of the girls had the nerve to call us out on it, so John turned around and told her that she had joined the line late and we had been there the whole time, so tough shit. She replied by saying that everyone one was doing it, and John said,” If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do that?”. It was a wonderfully old man kind of thing to say and I loved him for it. I loved watching him stand up for us. I wish he was here so we could reminisce about that day.
Maybe two or three years after my RP diagnosis, I was feeling sorry for myself, lonely and misunderstood, and I made a comment about how no one in my family could possibly relate to what it felt like or what I was going through. Later that day, John came to sit with me at the dining room table and told me I had hurt his feelings by what I had said, because he understood. He understood what is was like to feel loss, to feel afraid and different and alone. I knew in that moment that neither of us were alone. I learned in that moment what it meant to be brave. I saw in that moment how much John had been teaching me all along, about strength and kindness and honesty.
I am lucky that John was my big brother and so grateful that we became close and that I really got to know him, but I wish he was here so I could tell him how amazing he was and how much I miss him.
October 14, 2017 at 9:54 am
You honored your brother here, with this blog entry. I’m confident that John is part of your devine team. Always remember, all you need to do is ask him (and the rest of your team) for that advice you seek. Then just listen. ❤️
October 14, 2017 at 11:35 am
Thank you MaryAnne!
October 17, 2017 at 9:21 am
Thank you for sharing, it would have been nice if he had been there with you.
October 19, 2017 at 11:44 am
February 10, 2018 at 5:56 am
It is obvious your love for him, and you can be certain you have honored him and his memory by sharing him with us. Thank you.
February 10, 2018 at 7:09 am
This is making me cry. I do miss him. Your words here are vey potent for me. Thank you!
February 10, 2018 at 7:23 am
Good tears.. please I hope. It is important you know how that he has shined through your words.
February 10, 2018 at 7:30 am
I am so glad and so thankful. And yes, good tears. To know that I have honored him is so important to me.