Day 330; Footnotes of Honoring and Remembrance

 Its been a year, how could it have already been a year?

 I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing when I looked up and saw my son standing there with this incredibly sad expression. I knew, I knew and I fell apart right there. Leukemia had stolen my brother from us. Just as with the loss of my husband, nothing was ever going to be the same.

 He was the middle kid, I was the oldest and then there was one more. I was outnumbered but I was okay. I had two cool brothers and I knew that for a fact. Being that they shared a room, they were much closer to each other. While we all did stuff together and managed to find kid ways to get into trouble, they were masters at it. Of course we had disagreements and argued, even came close to a fight or two. But in the end, there was still a bond formed by love and respect.

 Both of my brothers have always managed to succeed in what ever they set their mind to accomplishing. Both had good jobs and amazing families. Not perfect, but amazing, talented, loving.

 For a while I was submitting editorial type articles to a local paper. In one of those articles, I tagged my brother with the moniker of Rambo. There was a very long, nonvenomous, rat snake on my back porch and I called and asked if he would come and remove it for me. He came walking up the path dressed in his hunting camo, carrying a shotgun in one hand and a large stick in the other. The snake must have somehow sensed he was coming so it quickly slithered out the same way it had gotten in and disappeared into the woods. The name stuck though. I had promised that if I ever wrote about my brothers I wouldn’t use their names, hence, Rambo.

 He and his family lived on the other side of mom and dad. Until we bought this house my husband and I lived behind them in a mobile home. He came to our rescue more than once. He got rid of a copperhead in the dark of the night and he saved a baby goat that I just had to adopt from stray dogs that were attacking. He loved to tease me about my walks through the woods, accusing me of scaring his deer. He did though make me promise that during hunting season I wouldn’t set foot in the woods without wearing something hunter orange. I’ll forever keep that promise. 

Many times he would call me and tell me to come quick if I wanted to see a rainbow, or owl, or even deer. He rescued a possum and then a large racoon from his trash. The skunk though, he was unable to save. It showed up in his drive sick. Whether it was rabid or what we will never know. Animal control came and after putting it out of its misery, hauled it away. The smell though lasted for hours.

He so loved his family, and had no hesitation in showing that love. He married his high school sweetheart. Their marriage may not have been perfect, as I really doubt there is such a thing but it was strong. From the very first of his kids to marry, to the last of the three, he was a proud dad. When the grand kids started arriving, that pride swelled even more. I wondered at times how he could fit through doorways his heart was so big. And those kids loved him just as much. It was nothing to see him riding them around on his tractor or on his shoulders. They listened to him and his every instruction.

He had a wicked sense of humor. He could slide a comment in before you realized it and be well out of reach by the time you caught on.

Still, he was honest and responsible. If he said he would be there, he would. If he said he was going to do something, it got done. Then he got sick. The doctor said bronchitis. But no matter the treatment, it wasn’t getting better. Mom took him to the emergency room, it took less than an hour and he was diagnosed. They sent him to Charlotte. They tried, they really, honestly tired. But it was too late, he was too sick. He had waited too long. He was admitted on Friday, he was gone on Monday.

My son came to work to get me, and I knew. One of the greatest men, one of the best men, one of the more rare men, in this world and in my life was gone.I miss you my brother. Yet I know where you are, and I know you wouldn’t want to return to this mess. But I want you to know, you will always be in our heart and memory. You will always be loved.

I miss you Rambo, and I love you my brother.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
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