My oldest living brother passed away today just after 3:00 PM.
He had been transferred to Iowa City last week (he lived in central Iowa his entire life), and was scheduled for a liver transplant, but everything in his body just seemed to shut down on him. His doctor had the entire family summoned to his bedside this morning, and most of them were there with him when he passed. He was only 60 years old.
He was not just my big brother, but he was my best friend. I remember being only 5 years old or so--when he was 17 and s senior in high school--and no matter what he had going on, he would sit down and watch Sesame Street with me. Only we never called it that; it was always "Bert and Ernie" to us.
Ever since then, we were very close. He taught me how to drive. He supported me when my parents kicked me out of the house when I dropped out of college--and he supported me strongly when I returned to earn my degree. He was proud of me, no matter how much of a fuckup I was. His love and support was constant and unconditional.
He despised folks who were over-sentimental. I remember when we had a wake for my mother; he and I were sitting out on the back porch and reminiscing, drinking beer and laughing at our pleasant memories of mom. There were several uptight old bitches who didn't think our behavior was appropriate, but fuck them. That's exactly what he said, and that's exactly what I say now. I already miss him like hell, but will do my best to focus on the positive memories I have of him.
He practically never said "I love you" to anyone in his life. He thought the words were cheap and rarely heartfelt. I should have known something was very seriously wrong when I spoke to him late last week, and those were his last words to me.
I love you, too, big brother. And I will miss you.
5 years, 10 months ago
31 Aug 2013 23:42 CEST