In 2015, my one and only brother, who had been battling cancer for 14 years, went into hospice care. They gave him 3 - 4 weeks with 3- 4 months being considered a miracle. As the whole family tried to prepare for his passing, everyone took extra time to visit with him and to help with his care as best as they could. With his wife's care, all our attention and many many prayers, he was here with us for nine more months - truly a miracle. My younger son and his family flew in to see him in May, family from the Czech Republic flew in and spent time with him in November. His friends from out of town all made an effort to stop by to visit him several times. It was especially hard on our elderly parents as they tried to prepare for the death of their only son. I, as the oldest of 8, was the one everyone turned to the most for emotional support even though they all tried to support his wife and be there for each other as well. My brother would slowly start to lose more weight and we would make an extra effort to see him and he would rally and gain some weight. During this time, I was helping my parents with doctors appointments and other things and I was unable to go see my little brother as much as I would have wanted to. When I saw him in September, he had lost a lot of weight and I didn't think he would make it to Thanksgiving. Someone let him know that I had expressed this thought which prompted him to call me and tell me that not only would he be with us at Thanksgiving, but also through the New Year. Knowing him the way I do, I knew I could take his word as gospel. Writing was not at the top of my list that year so I only posted a few times.
My brother and I were very close growing up. We were a year and a half apart and we did most things together. We fought a lot but we were very protective of each other. In other words, we could beat on each other but don't anyone else dare touch either of us. We shared a lot of good and bad times. We did have some friends and independent interests so we weren't joined at the hip. As we grew into our teens, we gravitated more to doing things on our own with our own friends. For example, I really didn't want my younger brother tagging along on my dates. Though I did have to take him with me a few times at my parents' insistence. Our relationship changed over the years and we didn't see each other as often, but we continued to have a strong bond till the end.