I have alluded to the fact that I have not been posting on my blog because of personal family reasons. I have not had the inclination to write even though I have several projects that I had started. The stress has taken a toll on me emotionally as well as physically.
I come from a large family and we have been and still are very blessed. 2015 started with taking my mom to physical therapy 2x a week (after returning from one month in Nevada helping with my newborn grandson) in addition to all her other doctors’ appointments. Then one sister tore a muscle in her leg and subsequently had to deal with a blood clot. The youngest fell and broke her wrist as well as dislocating her shoulder and toward the end of the year was in the hospital with diverticulitis and an abscess for which she later had to have surgery. My older son continued to have problems with a work related injury after several surgeries to his elbow. My brother, who had been battling cancer for about 13 years at that point needed surgery again and was not doing well (in & out of hospitals).
I flew to Nevada for a week for my grandson’s birthday. Upon my return, my brother was admitted to the hospital again and it didn’t look good. They discharged him into hospice care at home with 3 – 4 weeks to live, possibly up to 3 – 4 months and anything after that would be a miracle. My sister-in-law decided to care for him at their home about an hour and a half away.
We all scrambled to make sure to spend some time with him. I took my parents and a priest (a family friend that my brother & I knew well) to visit. I called my son in Nevada and he flew in with his whole family. He said he would rather see him while he was still with us then fly in for the funeral. With all the family and friends visiting him, our one and only brother rallied. Our sister, Paula, came in from Michigan about once a month for 4 – 7 days to help with his care. Another sister and her husband would come in from Michigan and help at the house one weekend per month. 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.
I was busy with taking my parents to doctor’s appointments and going to my own 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. With his wife's care, all our attention and many many prayers, he was here with us for a total of nine months - truly a miracle.
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.
Writing was not at the top of my list that year so I only posted a few times.