August 29, 2020

(From my journal dated Sunday August 4, 2019)

I am so grateful Jessica was here yesterday. Not only because she was able to spend time with her uncle, but because of what happened on the way back to Sylvania, shortly after we left the hospital.

We were barely out of Sav...

August 24, 2020

(From my journal, dated Friday, August 2, 2019)

My brother sleeps. This means the pain, although not out of his body, is out of his mind. He sleeps and his hands move as though he is eating a sandwich. Or working on something intricate. I watch him, noting every detail...

July 19, 2020

On Thursday, August 1, 2019, Dr. Barnes walked into my brother's hospital room. Swept in, is more like it. The door rushed open and in he came, white lab coat moving around him as if caught in a breeze. Van had been sitting up in bed, watching the news. I sat against a...

June 24, 2020

My brother would never return to our childhood home--the home of his adult life. I knew it. No one had to tell me; I knew it like I knew the love of my parents, by instinct. They never had to tell me in so many words, even though they did and often, but I always--by na...

May 25, 2020

Two days after his admission back into Candler, I received an early-morning call from my brother telling me he was having trouble breathing (I drove the one-to-one-and-a-half-to-sometimes-two-hour drive to Savannah twice a day, so I was a fair distance away). The night...

May 8, 2020

I couldn't quite understand what I was happening right in front of me. Only the day before, my brother had seemed better. Stronger. Having a "good day." That morning, in spite of his J-tube balloon having burst, which would lead us to having to return to the hospital,...

April 19, 2020

 The panic attacks usually came at about three in the morning. Mine; not his. My brother's stress over dying came in short spurts during daylight hours. I had taught him how to breathe so as not to hyperventilate and often had to remind myself when they came in the mid...

March 26, 2020

My brother was home. After three trips to the hospital for week-plus-long stays and a couple for outpatient procedures dealing with his J-tube (a jejuostomy tube is a soft, plastic tube that is placed through the abdomen and into the small intestine for the purpose of...

March 9, 2020

As children, my brother and I (along with every kid in the neighborhood) played outside from the time we woke up until the street lights flickered on. Even as little children, because our parents didn't worry; no parent worried. We were safe. Free to run and play and f...

February 20, 2020

"What's your favorite song?" I asked my brother. "Favorite of all time?"

"Driver's Seat by Sniff 'n' the Tears," he answered. I admitted I'd never heard it. A few days later, we drove toward Savannah for another round of chemo. I kept both hands at 10 and 2, my eyes on...

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