I begin this message on a somber note and I’m not sure where it’s heading. I have three older brothers. The brother closest to me in age is seven years older. And it’s this dear brother who seems destined to pass on before the rest of us as he now lies in a hospital bed waiting for that moment to arrive.
My sadness of losing this beloved brother is based upon agonizing images in my mind that are crying “what shouldn’t be and what should have been.”
I know that these images and thoughts will serve no good purpose and are some I need to come to grips with eventually. But I’m having great difficulty in doing that today. So I’m writing in an effort to convince myself I guess.
Certainly, there have been other times in my life when I’ve struggled with regrets of what might have been. But those times were usually about my own life and I would come to realize I could still make changes, move forward and do things differently.
It is a whole other story when you’re looking at the end of life for a loved one and you can only see a life story filled with actions and decisions that scream what should have been. “He’s too young,” my heart sobs. “This shouldn’t be,” my heart laments. There was so much potential not reached, talent not utilized, passion not directed in the way it was meant. In the past year or so he spoke to me about new dreams that break my heart to know he can’t fulfill them.
I’m trying to believe his spiritual life will go on. But at the moment, I’m not finding solace in that hope.
What is building in my heart and soul is a growing determination to make the most of my own life. To stop waiting for another day or for tomorrow or for another year to do the things I dream of. I don’t want to reach my end of days and think what should have been or what I should have done. And I really don’t want my loved ones to look at me and think the same.
I’m also becoming more passionate about not missing opportunities to say or do whatever could or should be said or done.
I missed my brother’s last phone call to me. If only I could hear “Hey baby sister!” a few more times. I remember our last normal conversation very well. It was months ago actually and I recall having the feeling that I didn’t want it to end.
Have you ever been on the telephone with a loved one and the whole time you were anxious to get off because you had other things you wanted or needed to do?
My advice to you is to always be present in your time spent with those you love. To not be mentally distracted by what is often inconsequential details of your life. Nothing is probably more valuable to you than the time you spend with someone you love. So relish and cherish those times. It could be your last spent with that someone.
I’m so very grateful now that I didn’t hurry my last long normal conversation with my brother. I know now it was a gift.
Maybe that’s my answer today. I’m going to think about my brother as a gift in my life. And gifts of times spent together can’t be taken away. Their memories remain forever…
P.S. I’m adding a P.S. note to my previously published post! I am also reminding myself RIGHT NOW that my brother is NOT gone yet and I’m going to STOP grieving for him as if he was! I’m going to focus on his presence in this moment and letting him know how much he is loved!
I’m tacking on a final sad note a few days after my original post to say my dear sweet brother, Walter Gary Moody, passed on this morning, October 5, 2013. Not sure what more I will publish in the future about my brother, but I will tell you here that I’ve began a journal recording my earliest memories of the brother who was seven years old when I was born. And these memories are making me smile!