Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Oldest

I watched him pace.  I watched him crack jokes and support his younger brother and mom.  I watched him walk down the hall, alone, where he could sit by himself around the corner out of sight…maybe to cry, maybe to just to recharge his reserves so he could be strong for the others.  All while we waited and waited and waited.  Hoping and praying his youngest brother would pull through this.  Hoping against all odds that this would be a story we laugh about and tease his brother about.  Waiting in vain.

As the oldest we are supposed to pave the road.  We are supposed to tell our younger siblings what to do and how to do it.  We aren’t supposed to watch, helpless, as our 33 year old baby brother fights to survive and loses that battle in less than 48 short hours.

I wasn’t in the ICU waiting room for him, I was there to support my friend as she waited to see the outcome of her boyfriend/best friend/lover’s fight to survive this surprise attack on his body from the inside.  I was there to help her through the night, to make sure she wasn’t alone.  But he caught my eye.  He drew my attention.

Him and I, both the oldest with two younger brothers.  I could empathize with him.  I knew what I would be feeling, what I would believe my role to be in this horror film if it was my baby brother in the ICU.  He was the one who got the phone call from their dad saying he would not be coming to the hospital and passed this upsetting information along to everyone else.

At one point, someone mentioned how much Dave looked like him.  His automatic response, “No, he looks like ME.”  It made me smile.  How many times have I said this exact thing when someone comments on the resemblance between my youngest brother and me?  We’re the oldest, they look like us because we were here first.

We were here first so in theory we should be the ones to go first.  My heart breaks for him and his family and my dear friend Amber who all lost someone very special.  It happened so suddenly and the tragic end came so quickly.

The few short days you have been gone feel like weeks.  You are missed so so much Dave.  You were and always will be greatly loved.


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