Monday, December 21, 2009


To my brother, who left without saying goodbye


What did it sound like when you fell? How loud the thud that reverberated off the gym walls all the rest of that night must have been. When you hit the floor, already dead they said, the force broke your nose, spattered blood across your face and soaked your mustache.

In the hospital, your throat was still warm, but no amount of rubbing could warm your feet again. Your face was burdened with a bunch of stuff they used to try to revive you, but you, winsome imp, flash in the fire, fleet-footed brother of my heart, were gone.

What were you thinking when that stuttering heartbeat took your breath away, and started to take you down? The second they said you might've had to suffer before falling so fast you didn't try to catch yourself. Did you have time to bid your life farewell or even wince? Did you have a second's lucid shock?

When our "baby" brother called, I cursed unblinking death for taking you so outrageously. Then hung up and tore the phone out of the wall, opened the kitchen window and hurled it into the yard.

You were my polestar, my confidant, friend of a lifetime. I never had to speak the love you knew was there. And you always knew without a word the whimsy and the humor in my mind. How interested and wide-eyed as a child you went at life. How passionately you advised, and coached, and taught, and listened. I never got around to sending that poem draft you asked to see. I thought there'd be time at Christmas. I thought there would still be time.

What I wouldn't give now for one more hour of you.









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21 Comments:

Blogger Magpie said...

Weeping. I'm sorry, T.

1:49 PM  
Blogger thordora said...

I'm so very sorry.

1:57 PM  
Blogger heidi said...

I tried to type a comment, but the words just didn't come. Then I saw the word verification, which said "stair"... which made me think of "Stairway to Heaven," and my own freaky brother came to mind. So again, for the second time in 10 minutes, I cried. I don't even know you, but my thoughts are with you.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

you describe a sibling bond that sounds like an incredible gift, a man who sounds like an incredible brother and friend.

i am so sorry.

2:04 PM  
Blogger PurestGreen said...

(o)

2:21 PM  
Blogger kathy a. said...

(o)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Ilina said...

So sorry for you and your family.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

My condolences. Peace to you and your family.

4:47 PM  
Blogger alejna said...

I'm so sorry.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Springer Kneeblood said...

I'm glad we spoke. You should see the place of his in Mexico; you might learn that it fits you, after all, like a loose and comfortable flannel shirt.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Deb/Cloud Messenger said...

I read this through tears for your loss, for your unflinching and heart-rending grief, and for the depth of your love.

10:55 AM  
Blogger KathyR said...

Beautiful & so sad. Sorry, Teresa.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Sarah Sometimes said...

T., how shocking and sad. I'm so sorry. Sending you love and good thoughts.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous bev said...

It's clear that you shared a very close and wonderful bond with your brother. Words are so inadequate at these times, but I'm very sorry for your loss.

1:53 PM  
Blogger hele said...

oh. my heart trembles with yours. i wish i could reach over and touch your hand. instead all i can do is go to my sacred space and pray that you both find peace and a way of rediscovering each other.

much love

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Sorry for your loss.

Yes, that moment is a mystery, when sentience yields to physics, whether it's an ambush or a sustained siege.

Wish you peace when it's time.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

I'm so incredibly sorry.

2:22 PM  
Blogger BrightenedBoy said...

I'm so sorry. Now I understand your comment. I'll be thinking of you.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Mark Berry said...

x

3:19 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

Thank you so much, you know.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Snowbrush said...

I'm so sorry about your brother. Mine was raised separately and never wanted to know me. Another sibling is nothing more a penpal than a sister, and a second sister hasn't spoken to me in 21 years because she was unhappy with how our father's will turned out. So, I don't have to bear the grief of loss, but rather the grief of never having had something that I very much wish I could have.

BTW, have you been South and visited with the fireants? I'm from Mississippi but moved to Oregon in '86, and they were one of the things that I was very happy indeed to leave behind, so I'm astounded that you would name your blog after them--presumably after them, that is.

7:34 PM  

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