Jan 1, 2013

New Year's Eve

We found out this morning that our brother, David, died. In spite of his recent health problems, this was a surprise. He was not always the soundest of mind, but he was the soundest of body in our sibling group. It is more than strange to think that there are now only two of us left, stranger still to wonder at how much time we do or do not have left, given our brother and sister passing before reaching the age of 60. 

As New Year's Eves go, this one is not one of my better, but it is certainly the one I will be likely to remember for the rest of my life. We travel by car tomorrow to Little Rock and will drive the gray distance with a heaviness in our hearts that holds all of the trips back for sickness and death that we have made over the years. It occurred to me tonight that we always looked forward to our trips to Little Rock throughout our childhood and even into our early 30's, but then things started to change. Our sister, Linda, got cancer and married a horrid man while in a diminished mental state. Linda died, then our grandmother died, but not before countless trips to visit her in a nursing home. After Grandma died, we actually began to enjoy visiting David, which was no small feat as he was a difficult man, to say the least. Our relationship with him, which was strained and even distant through most of our lives seemed to develop into something deeper and with more respect than it had before. Visiting him last Christmas when he was sick and needed help to care for himself was a tipping point. He had promised to visit us, but he became very ill and  While the trip was more than difficult for us, he finally realized that he had two sisters who truly loved him, even when he felt he was unlovable. He wanted very much to visit this year, but his health failed him again and he spend much time in and out of the VA hospital in Little Rock over the last few months. We really thought he would heal up again and we would go see him in March. His sudden death this morning put an end to that plan. 

I am glad we had the last year and that he finally knew he was loved and that he had family that would be there for him in any circumstance. I wish he had more than just one year of that knowledge. I wish also that he had found happiness in his life. 

Happy New Year, David. We love you and are proud of the man you were able to become, and we are going to miss you more than you ever imagined was possible.

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