25th July 2009

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.
sue_jones_wordart_treasureToday, 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.


44 thoughts on “25th July 2009

  1. As the years go by it is hard to come to terms with “forever”. I am so very sorry for your loss. A beautiful tribute post to your brother. Every time I read your words about him I always feel your love and pride in him. I am sure if at all possible he has never truly left you.
    Hugs to you tonight.


    1. Thank you Jenna. It is certainly not fair and a cruel twist of fate however I (like millions of others in the world) must go through this.
      I appreciate your lovely words.


  2. What a beautiful tribute- I send a hug to you and thank you for sharing a bit about your brother and your relationship- allowing me a glimpse into both your lives. May his memory be for a blessing.<3


    1. It is a blessing to me. It was also lovely to talk with both of my children last night who shared their memories also. Some of them I didn’t remember (such is life) but they stood out to the children.
      Thank you for caring. Thank you for your words.


  3. Not a lot can be said on a sad day like this for you Suz. Having Leukaemia then getting Swine Flu would be nasty. I hope you get through your day oaky.


    1. I’ll be honest Laurie, coupled with everything else going on made the day pretty hard for me and I didn’t want to leave the house. Funnily enough, my children all had equally as bad days for similar reasons (real life coupled with the anniversary of their favourite uncle’s death). My son swears that my brother paid him a visit yesterday and kept mucking up his iPod playlist. lol


      1. Your brother probably did pay a visit, messing with electronics is a popular way of making oneself known. I hope you’re feeling better, although define better when we’re grieving. take care.


    1. Thank you Irene. I agree that losing any person is difficult and I have lost many in my life. I find it hard that I have lost three younger brothers but losing the baby brother that I used to look after whilst my mother was working was even more difficult than the other two.
      Thank you for caring.


    1. I think it’s important to focus on their life and the impact that they had on those around them. April, I still see him laying in the hospital bed (and later in his coffin) but I prefer to remember him when he was alive and teasing me. I guess it gives me more peace that way.


  4. A beautiful tribute to your brother Sue.
    He obviously was a soldier,a respected soldier I suspect.
    I couldnt work out his badge to recognise his corp.
    I give you my condolences Sue.
    May his memory bring you much happiness.
    Emu aka Ian


  5. Time doesn’t heal but it does allow you to organise the memories so the happiest ones smother the sadness (but those sad memories still deserve some reflection time). Here’s to the wonderful memories as in this post that keep your brother alive forever.


    1. Here’s to organising memories!! 🙂
      Thanks for the lovely words my friend.
      btw thought of you a whole lot yesterday – Dance Moms post to come. 🙂


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