I miss my brother

sinistersisterJune 15, 2009

He was retarded -- that's how he understood it...simple terms. He always called me if he needed help: what channel is a certain show on; why is the phone company/Hydro/Cable charging me so much ?

But, he was proud of his independence. He acquired it thru the school of hard knocks, that’s for sure.

Then he called and said he had a sore throat. I insisted that he go to his GP, even when he said he wasn't helping. When he finally told me that his GP put up his hand (in the form of "talk to the hand"), I freaked & found him a new GP. That new guy immediately referred him to a specialist (man...why did I wait so long?) He had a tracheostomy & a feeding tube.

I took care of him all winter. His ears started bothering him -- I couldn't vacuum; he needed the TV very loud. He lost his voice -- I tried so hard to understand what he was trying to say. He was usually pretty upbeat & healthy. And he hated being here with us. Well, I guess he liked it ‘cause he couldn’t be alone. But he hated the lifestyle change that it meant. We don’t live the same way that he did. He was never taught proper life skills. And, his “friends” just didn’t visit. I remember him asking me one time, “Does everybody know I’m here?” I told him, “Of course they do? Look at all of your cards and photos that your friends have sent” (that I’ve pasted to the walls). How could I tell him that his were fair weather friends who only wanted to see him in his apartment where it was always a party atmosphere.

He seemed to take a sudden turn for the worse; I think the cancer affected his brain. He would "sleepwalk"; he would have tantrums; he didn't understand why he had a tube in his throat nor a tube hanging from his tummy.

Eventually, he barely had the strength to hold himself up. He got nasty with me; he fought with me. Mom did come to visit, but he couldn't make it out of bed to sit with her. I know this bothered him; he would always get up..no matter how he felt...it was just the polite thing to do, he said. He did say that he wanted to go to the hospital. He kissed his nurse goodbye on his last day here..he made me leave the room first.

We admitted him to palliative care. He said he liked his room. He joked with the hospital nurse -- even made a pass at her. We planned a barber's appointment for the next day. He wanted his photo taken with hubby & I, but I didn't have my camera with me...tomorrow, for sure. We stayed will him till 9:30p.m. The hospital called the next morning and said he died at 7:15 a.m.

I think he wanted to stay here with me & I feel so bad. Every day, I still find something to remind me of him and I still miss him like crazy & still feel so bad about a particular time when he was angry with me. I've had to go thru all of his belongings & I feel I am invading his privacy. I'm going thru his VHS tapes & I think of all of the times we asked him to get the camera out of our faces. I wonder how many hours he took comfort in viewing those movies, where others of us would simply pick up a book and read.

My brother looked up to me & relied on me to help. I just feel that I let him down when he needed me the most. I should’ve listened sooner, when his GP was giving him the gears. I should’ve been more lenient when he wasn’t feeling well. I just think there was more that I could’ve done & to this very day, I don’t know what it is, but I know I should’ve done it.

I guess I let him down too when it came to his funeral. His pension only allowed certain provisions & I thought I did what he would have wanted. Of course, family & friends had issues. I didn’t make it to the

I miss my brother so so much. Somewhere out there, he needs me & he’s calling for me & I can’t hear him. The people who CAN hear him, don’t understand what he’s trying to say. I should be there to help him still. Forgive me Ronnie…I really tried…I really did !!

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I am so sorry for your loss. You loved and cared for your brother the best you could, with the resources, knowledge, and understanding that you had. Please don't be so hard on yourself. My mom passed in March, and I think that she now has a complete understanding of what the purpose of life on earth is--something that remains cloudy to those of us left behind. Your brother sees completely what we only see partially, so be encouraged that he knows the fullness of your efforts and your desire to serve him. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 1:40PM
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