This morning I woke up in my old bedroom. The one from my teenage years. It no longer looks like my room but it still is. I awoke bleary eyed and slightly confused. My shoulder and upper left arm hurt. I had slept hard.
My old friend Doug, or as I call him Trixie, picked me up at the airport about 2 pm yesterday. It was good to hug him and feel his support before facing reality.
Mom was waiting at the house. We visited with Doug for a minute then we were off to the hospital to see the Big Brother.
He looked like shit.
White as a ghost yet with a yellow cast. Deep dark set eyes hardly opened when we said hello. Skin barely clinging to the thin bones with all the veins exposed like a little web of roadmaps. Huge protruding belly making a stark contrast against the frail fragile body. That belly is the capsule holding the failing liver within.
This isn’t the virile strong athlete I wished to emulate when we were kids, but he is still my brother.
His wife hugged me and told mom he hadn’t eaten all day. He went back to sleep with a weak snore.
We have no idea when he will go. It could be in the next couple of days or he could rally into an extension of suffering.
Here I sit waking up with my coffee. I am deciding at this moment to be thankful that I have the health and means to be here for mom. Gratitude will give me the grace to walk through this.
We are family. Family is love. Family is understanding without judgment. Family is care.