I doubt anyone actually reads this but... working on the past tense already so forgive me if it skips around any.
Tomorrow morning (8-29-11), my brother will most likely be gone.
On Tuesday morning, he had a stroke. 45 years old. Turns out the symptoms he'd had that the doctor put down to a virus in his inner ear were actually the symptoms of an oncoming basilar artery thrombosis. Just found out today he'd fallen at work Monday, but hadn't told his wife. I think he knew it was coming.
My brother could be an ass. A big one. But for once, the last time we were all together, he and I didn't fuss about anything. There weren't any babies for him to try to make me hold... lol! He never understood I didn't like little ones.
He always did his best by all of us and helped in a pinch. He worked for the SC DOT. Anytime I saw a cat or dog killed in the road, I could call him and he'd make sure someone got them up before they were harmed further. He wasn't that fond of cats but he had the same great love of animals I do. He saw two beagle pups by the road, passed them by and just couldn't leave them. That brought his dog count to, I believe, seven. From 80 pounds down to three.
Our father passed away in 2001. Mitchell is making it just over 10 years after him. The men on my father's side of the family don't tend to live to be really old men. My father was 56, his father was about 55. The only one I know of to grow old was my great-grandfather who was in his late 70s or early 80s. Turns out Mitchell had just had a conversation with someone this past Sunday about this same fact. He knew he was sick and didn't tell anyone didn't he?
Halloween is going to be hard for me now. My brother and I were always the huge Halloween fans. He would plan for months and do elaborate set ups to scare all the kids... even a few adults. I know this year, I won't do Halloween. The first time in many years. What I will do is probably this... part of his set up was a huge bunch of tombstones with his and the family's names on them and stupid sayings. I think I'll get his and put it out there alone this year with some of those solar lights to light it. A tribute to the one who made kids screams heard all the way across town more than once. The guillotine was one of his best... kids had to reach under it for candy. It was hilarious to hear the screams from my house about a mile away.
When he would come to my door, he would bang on it with one hand and ring the doorbell with the other and scare the crap out of me and the cats. I'll actually miss that.
I asked Mitchell to please see if he can find his best friend and tell him I love him. His best friend as a child was the love of my life. That man's mother feels like she's losing another son now.
He was the one who pulled a pincher bug off my toe when I was about four. He was the first one to let me steer a truck when I was about six. He was the one who came to tell me when my father was diagnosed terminal and hugged me when I was 27. It's hard to realize he won't be there anymore for anything I might need help with. He won't borrow something and not return it. He won't try to make me hold his grandchildren. He won't offer to have his 80 pound lab come "play" with my cats. He won't anything anymore. Why can't I wake from this dream?