Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This is what I would have told you....

Today is my brother's birthday.. He would have
been 70.. Oh, I was praying he would make it
to this day.

We had for the past 4 or 5 years ... passed between
us a card. A birthday card.. don't remember who decided
to use the one card for both of our birthdays.. but we did.
Each year, we would add a few words to it for the other,
and send the card back across the country.. each time
as one of us received it, we would hang on to it and
make sure it went back.  I had envisioned it landing
with him at the end. After all I am 4 years older. But
I have it.. it ended up with me. And I will read all
of the words we both wrote ...today.. with tears.

Each year the words of so called wisdom that I would
write, was in tune with what I had talked to him about
as we grew older. Especially after he turned 50.

He had mention at that time.. how it was getting hell to be
old.  And being the oldest, I told him 50 was a piece of cake.
That it gave you certain rights.. that you can say your peace
without too many people getting mad at you. That when you
did, you still said it with respect for that person.. but you
no longer had to reserve your words, because you no longer
had to impress people.  That you can say how you feel,
as long as it was honest and not hurtful.

I told him health wise, we were in pretty good shape as our
parents went thru their 50's in a breeze.. That Dad had a
heart situation, but it was minor. And that he (my brother)
already went thru that, and could see, it didn't slow him
down. That life was still good, and to enjoy it.

When the card came into play, it was similar remarks.
How I found his age, and what I went thru..  But this
year.. he was turning 70. So I had some good stuff... so
I thought.  I knew he was fighting cancer.. and had been
for quite a few years. And while it slowed him down, he
was still in a good place over all.. UNTIL about my birthday.
In April, we talked about how life wasn't  quite fair.  We both
knew our mother died of cancer just months before her
74th birthday.  So we were more honest about what was
coming up.

But damn it Roy, you were suppose to make it passed your
70th.  I wanted to tell you, that 70, wasn't so bad. That you
slow down some. Your grip isn't as strong as it was years
ago. And how in your heart you still feel like you can do
anything, but your body says, not so fast. That most of it was
still doable.. but took longer.  How life as we watched it go
by us.. is not the same world we were born into..but  it  is
what we make of it.. And to just keep in mind.. to keep it
local.. meaning enjoy life with your family and friends and
try not to worry about what the others are doing to our
universe.. that it is the time to turn the baton to the next
generation.. and hope they do well.

But instead of me telling you.. what to expect.. YOU
taught me ... you taught me how to die with dignity.
How to take care of others while you did. To leave this
world of ours giving all of your friends and family, your
love and courage to do as well as you did.

So give Aunt Harriet a hug for me, and tell her I miss her..
give the old lady a kick in the ass, tell her to stop
bitching at the old man.. give the old man a hug from
me... and don't leave the light on for me.. as you know
me.. last minute annie... Love and peace.. and



Sparrow Ivy said...

So powerful. Thank you for being brave enough to share your heartache.

Anonymous said...

this was such a powerful, loving glimpse of family, of sibling love thank you, I am the eldest of 10 children and often wonder how to prepare how to comfort my siblings when we start to leave this world ( if im not the first to go lol )