It’s been two years today since my father passed away. I’m wondering exactly where those two years went – and more to the point – I’m wondering if I have kept the promises I made to myself as I sat staring at his casket on that warm July afternoon.
I promised myself I would take care of Mother the best I could. I would make sure she got the care she needed and I would try to be there emotionally for her as much as possible.
Mother has since passed – but I did my best to fulfill that promise to myself to take care of her. She lived in a wonderful home that I wish everyone with dementia could experience. Her level of care was extraordinary, and more than I could have ever, ever given her, and she died peaceful and in no pain.
I also promised myself I would try to find a way to make peace with my brother and somehow get him into my life. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that – but he was really all I had left as far as immediate family and I was determined on that July afternoon I was going to find a way.
My father died not speaking to my brother – as did my mother – and I was not going to let that be the end of my family. I don’t really know their story –for our family never did communicate. I only know there was no closure for any of them.
A great many things have happened in those two years since I sat staring at my father’s casket. Mother has passed, friends have passed, the world has gotten a little warmer, and politics continue to divide a nation as we all struggle to find our way. There have been floods and tornadoes and storms which have taken homes and schools and hospitals. There have been shootings and bombings and Wars which have taken the lives of way too many Americans. One life is too many – at least this is how I feel.
There have also been in those two years sweet little babies born and towns rebuilt and families reunited from the end of one war. Freedom to marry has come to same-sex couples; a new heir to the British Throne has been born to continue that unbroken line for longer than I will ever see. Life most surely goes on – this much I have learned.
As I sat staring at the casket which held the remains of my mother – my brother was by my side. I put my head on his shoulder and he squeezed me a little harder. He was kind and thoughtful and strong and supportive. He was everything a sister would want her big brother to be.
I can pick up the phone and dial his number – and he’s there, the sound of his voice comforts me – makes me feel so not alone on days when “family” seems so much a thing of my youth.
I like it when I make a promise to myself – and keep it…
I have a brother…