One reason why I participate in Relay for Life.
I have two brothers, one who lives on the other side of town and one who now resides in Heaven. He was twenty-three months younger than me, but so much more mature and accomplished. He was also a pain in the backside but that’s part of being a sibling right? He also came to my rescue more times than I can count. I miss him terribly.
We grew up in this house. At some point after we had begun moving out, mom and dad had the wall that created my brother’s bedroom torn out. That removed a bedroom, but not the memories. Our grandparents lived right next door. Now, our parents live there.
Growing up we went fishing with dad. Growing up we played games we made up and games where we had to alter the methods and rules to work for the three of us. Growing up we rode our bikes all over this dirt road. There is a hill behind the house that has a small stream crossing at the bottom end. We would find anything with wheels and see who could get as close to that stream without going into the creek and without using brakes. We created our own trails and we followed animal trails all through the woods behind the two houses.
Summers and other times when needed we would be found with our grandparents. Our grandfather always had some new interesting something he had found or built for us to play with- once permission was granted. He helped turn sticks into stick horses. He helped turn sheet of tin into forts and fortresses. We also learned how to plant, take care of and harvest amazing gardens. The hammocks under the Oak trees were perfect for escaping summer heat when the creek and the woods were off limits.
Our grandmother died when we were teenagers. Afterwards we would spend time with our grandfather to soak up some of his wisdom and enjoy the company.
As adults we had each other’s back. When my very first real relationship went bad my brothers offered to go teach him how to treat a lady. They didn’t, I said no, but they offered. They were looking out for me.
Many times my brother would work on my car. He came to rescue me once from an enormously long rat snake that had managed to get onto my enclosed back porch. He would call me and let me know when there was a great photo opportunity happening. He would sneak up on me in the woods, dressed in his camo it always seemed that a tree had came to life and was approaching.
All mom or dad had to do was call and he would be right there.
He so loved his family, but those grandchildren seriously had his heart.They would be waiting for him to come down the dirt road headed home after work. They would be with him as much as allowed and even sneak in some time when everyone should have been elsewhere.
Then, he got sick. The doctor called it a respiratory infection. But he didn’t get better. He wouldn’t get better. They were treating, mistreating him for the wrong thing. He went into the hospital on Friday, he died the following Monday morning, from Leukemia. Cancer took my brother. It is so hard to walk this road and pass his house. Hard because it never failed when he was home that he would greet me with a ‘hey sis, are you scaring my deer again?’ I really miss him. I know, we all miss him. Every once in a while, someone will remember something and his name will come up. We will smile, we will remember, we will wish for one more moment. But we know we will see him again.
In memory and honor of my brother, I participate in Relay for Life. In the hope and desire to help find ways to prevent cancer from taking another individual from their family. To help prevent a spouse with a broken heart, children or grandchildren growing up missing an important family member. To help finish the fight started so long ago.
I do this for you Michael. I do miss you my brother.