Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Long Shadow, Short Life

My brother passed away on Sunday morning, at 2:30am. My 6-year-old nephew fell out of his bed at 2:30am and his mother, my sister, was consoling him when she got the call three minutes later.

I was nine years and three months old on the day he was born. He was my baby brother. I remember my mom's pregnancy. I went with her to the obstetrician several times. Fourteen years later, that obstetrician delivered my first daughter. I knew my father was hoping for a boy. He was due to be born on New Years and he was almost 3 weeks late. He weighed almost 9 pounds.  I occasionally fed him a bottle, changed a diaper or two. I got peed on in the process. I remember the day his umbilical cord fell off. I remember his christening, the first time he walked, the time I came home to hear him screaming, blood all over the floor because he had just fallen and hit his forehead on his child-size rocking chair and my parents were trying to hold him still so they could wrap him up and take him across the street to our pediatrician. He got five stitches. That pediatrician is still in the same office. He is 91 years old and his son is the doctor now.

I remember the day I taught him to swim and the day he first saw JAWS, the day I took him for his first bike ride. I remember teaching him about the alligators that lived under the storm drains (New York fables). I remember his first friend. That friend and HIS brother are STILL my brothers BEST FRIENDS. They consider him THEIR brother. They are devastated he is gone. They were friends for over 40 years.

I remember when he was a junior usher at my wedding, along with our cousin Alex. Alex had a bad heart and died barely 3 months after his third open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, at the age of 39. Another short life.

I remember when he found the love of his life and she came with a ready-made family. He instantly had two sons to love and raise and he tried his best to be a good father.

He was a great son to our mom. He made sure she had anything she needed after my dad died. He bought her books all the time. He loved going to estate sales and finding little things Mom would love, or for my husband, or me, or for his nieces and nephew.

He loved to cook and entertain. He loved to take people out to dinner, always insisting on paying, no matter what. I remember when he helped my daughter move her dorm room one spring. I remember that even with two artificial legs, he helped me move my daughter back into her apartment after she had healed for six months from her broken leg. He drove and his two boys did the carrying everything up three flights of stairs.

I have seven years of emails with story ideas he started and shared with me. I hope I can complete the stories he started. I have photos. I have many, many more memories. Many more than I could ever share.

He is missed.



Anonymous said...

I am crying. sincere best wishes to you.

Melissa @ Faster In Water said...

I am so sorry for your loss. There is a lot of love in your words.

Susan said...

So sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences.