The first call came over two and 1/2 months ago. He was ill. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer caused from agent orange. My brother was in a fight for his life.
Immediately I left, drove the grueling 10 hour drive to be with him. To do what I could, when I could and as I should. We all fought together side by side for weeks. It went on for weeks. The around the clock care to do what we could, when we could and as we could.
We didn't win the battle though. It reminds me of a rip tide. You get caught up in it. Your first instinct is to fight against it and fight hard. Of course you believe you will win the battle. But as you fight it you are overwhelmed with the realization that at some point if you don't just let go and drift out, succumb to the realization that you can't beat it, you will drown anyway. That is what the fight reminds me of when one is fighting such a cancer. And not that I don't want to ever believe that many will win but in his case, the foundation was laid years and years ago and the odds were stacked against us all. Damn Vietnam War! Damn agent orange!
He passed away July 26, 2012. He was only 64. His favorite motto was "Livin' the Moment". And so since his death I have been trying to do just that. I have taken back out my bucket list and began to consciously work off that list. I am trying to Live in The Moment to honor him and his memory. To honor all their memories.
The waves have finally (I hope) washed me roughly back up onto the shore. It has been a tough rip current ride this past few months. One that I am not sure I can ever (nor maybe should I ever) forget. And one that will take me a long, long time to unravel and come to grips with. We loose so much in our lives living with chronic illness and one would think that we would get use to riding out the tough times. But we don't. We truly don't.
I think these past few years and all my close family members passing has just taken its toll on me. I will try to stay grounded on the beach for awhile and I will try to tend my life but I will always (and I mean always) have my eye on the far horizon…wondering if the rip tide will get me again.