My brother passed away on January 24th of this year. It was very unexpected and from what I hear, he was dead before he even hit the floor. We always called him Charlie. Every since I can remember that’s what we all called him. I am his older sister by 18 months. Growing up we fought like cats and dogs but we also were very close. I have had to be detached to keep my head about me and be there for our mom. You see, growing up, it was always just my mom my brother and me. I have cried some at home and with my husband, but not around my mom.
The pain of missing my brother is at times more than I can bear. But seeing my mom’s face when she was going to call my brother to help her with something only to realize she can’t breaks my heart. I won’t lie, it’s been very tough trying to get my own life back on track of sorts. This is the one and only time I will write about my brother. I had thought to do a book about his life, but I fear at this point it will be too painful a project.
Growing up we shared fun, laughter, and inside jokes that only we got. We did childish things and dreamed childish things. We would talk about having our own sunshine walking to school on cold winter mornings, warm enough to melt the snow around us so we could go to school in shorts and t shirts. Yeah, we were dreamers! We played in the creek and chased minnows, craw-daddies and other bugs while there. Charlie liked snakes. Me, not so much. There wasn’t a spot in the town we grew up in we hadn’t covered at one point or another. That included any old building that most people didn’t even realize was still up! yes, we climbed on the roof, yes we could have fallen to our deaths, but you know, we just never thought about that stuff. We could climb trees, bridges, pretty much anything that didn’t scare us. Old buildings, didn’t scare us. I did not climb over a stopped train, he did, once. Mom found out and about tanned his hide for it too. That dratted blue bird snitched on us.
The railroad tracks at that time was safer to walk on to go to the next town than walking on the road. Yes, we watched for trains and were careful.
My brother joined the military and served from 1986 to 1993. He had been to Germany and traveled all over while there. Did he do crazy stuff? yeah, he did. but He always came home. My brother learned how to fight very well and most people didn’t mess with him, even as a kid and before he learned all that military training. And if someone did hurt my brother, I was ready to go. Even though he could take me. Go figure, brains weren’t my strong suit when it came to him being hurt. I found out later, he was the same about me. When he heard a couple of guys had hit me, yeah, he took care of it. We didn’t always get along, But we were family.
Every day I miss him. Most of the time, I just think of him at work or he is home sleeping. I don’t think about where he is now. I know, not dealing with it isn’t a good thing. But for now, I have to.
What I want to do and what I get to do are two completely different things. I just want to curl up and cry, scream, yell, throw things, and not do a damned thing. Just shut the world out. He is my younger brother and he was supposed to outlive me and mom. I guess life doesn’t follow our thinking on that. College courses still need to be finished, book publishing still needs to go on, vendoring dates still need to be filled. Life still goes on and every day it’s a real struggle to keep going. I have to though, I have family depending on me and I won’t hurt my mom any more than she has already had to endure. I can’t understand why he passed, why he didn’t take better care of himself, why he didn’t say anything to us. He drank heavily and knew he had health issues. But in the end, I suppose he went the way he would have wished, here one minute and gone the next. Not suffering.
I have almost given up on socializing on Facebook and stuff, I just don’t see the point any more. I find it hard to see the point in a lot of things any more. I know it will get better but for now. It’s just a lot of pain and a lot of hidden tears. I don’t have answers, I don’t have any golden gems of advice, just pain.