It’s often been said that a mother should never have to bury her children. It is wrong that the person who brought you into the world, should also have to see you out of it. However, it is equally sad when the oldest sibling outlives her younger brothers.
It isn’t just sad, it is tragic. And life seems so unfair.
Five years ago today we left the waiting room to say our goodbyes to one of the most gorgeous men I was privileged to share my life with.
Oh, he wasn’t always happy and outgoing. Sometimes he could be downright moody and selfish. But I loved him and that is all that matters.
As I watched him laying in the ICU, I found it difficult to comprehend that this person was the same one that only the other day had been loudly teasing me about my driving skills as I navigated his wheelchair downstairs to the lobby. He was larger than life and had the rapier wit to go with it.
This man laying on a bed surrounded by tubes and monitors was the same man who only days ago called me with the last remaining battery life on his phone to chat and tell me that he loved me. He told me not to worry and that everything would be fine. But he lied. Because it wasn’t. He would have chuckled had he known that he would make the papers when he left us.
It hardly seems fair that a man who had battled Leukaemia and the side effects of drugs (meant to keep him alive) for the past 10 years succumbed to a ‘flu.
I wryly think about the character ‘Death’ in “The Book Thief” and wonder what he might have said about the manner of Peter’s passing.
I am not unique.
I am not the only person in the world who has had someone they love dearly claimed by death. They say that the only two inevitable things in life are death and taxes however when death comes knocking at the door, no-one is prepared.
There are always words left unsaid or things left undone.
Nobody is ready to face death. Least of all, those of us who are left behind.
Today, as my FB page has begun exploding with tributes from the nieces and nephews left behind when Peter left us, I have been reflecting on the memories I have of him and I cherish each and every one.
I am filled with gratitude for the times spent with my baby brother in the year before he left us. I treasure the meals we shared and the laughter that always accompanied them.
I laugh when I recall his telling our little girl that he had had a drink with Santa on Christmas Eve and personally checked out everything he had put in her Santa Sack to make sure it was perfect. I smile when I remember hearing her beside the Christmas tree in the pre-dawn light laughing and sharing her joy with her uncle before she even came in to see us.
I can feel the softness of his his ‘fuzz’ (he had no hair) as he handed me the clippers and asked me to trim it back for him.
I recall his fear at holding the newborn babies because he thought he might drop them due to the shakes that the drugs often caused. But that didn’t stop him from oohing and ahhing over each of his great nieces and nephews and spoiling them when he could.
I smile when I remember how protective he was of me when he found out that I was dating the Garden Gnome. I smile even harder when I recall just how well he and the GG got on together once they had met.
So today I remember my baby brother and the impact he had upon our lives and in doing so I am grateful for having him in my life even if it was for such a short time.