Sixteen months ago, March 4, 2008, was one of the saddest days in my life. 3:07am that day as I was getting ready for work, I received a phone call informing me that my younger brother had just passed away. For the next two weeks afterward, I let all those who read my blog all about my brother Ricky, someone who made the most out of life despite the fact he had physical and developmental disabilities.
This afternoon when I left work, I went over to the Hospice of the Western Reserve to visit my older brother, Allen. I was there for about 10 minutes and I'm sure he didn't realize I was there.
Allen is one who was provided many tools from God, but spent his life using them improperly. I remember my parents telling me that Allen had a higher than average IQ and he was also a very good mechanic. Through the years Allen worked on my car many times as I'm the complete opposite as a mechanic.
I think Allen's worst enemy was himself. He dropped out of school with an 8th grade education and was in and out of jail. He was also married at least 5 times. He and I started following separate paths about 1978 as I was preparing to get married. We'd see each other at our mom's house(we had different fathers) every once in awhile, but as the years passed we saw each other less and less. I would hear from him when he was having trouble. He didn't know my dad, who helped raise him, died until months later. We didn't know where he was at the time. When our mom was under hospice care, the only reason they spoke was because I called him and handed my cell phone to her. The next time we had pleasant words was a few years later. To his credit, Allen reached out to me. We also found out we both liked NASCAR, and we were both fans of Tony Stewart.
I wonder why it had to come to a terminal disease to get back together with my brother? I also wonder how many siblings have the same question as I?
PLEASE, if you have a strained relationship with another family member don't wait for something like this to happen. You might not be able to make peace like Allen and I did. But in the interim, too many years were wasted.