I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my Brother. You may or may not know that my Brother, Steve, passed away from cancer in February of this year. A couple of years ago he came to my house to tell me that he had been diagnosed with cancer and that it didn't look good. He told me he wasn't looking for any help but that he just wanted someone to know "in case something happened" to him. From that day forward - for 25 months - I was dedicated to making sure that he didn't have to go through any of his sickness alone. His wife had passed away from cancer 12 years earlier and he didn't have any Children. He was also what some might consider "antisocial" and kept a very small circle of close friends. But I was not going to let that be ok. I was not going to let him be sick and die alone. I went with him to all of his chemo sessions, I missed only 1 Drs appt, I accompanied him and sat with him through 4 surgeries and the aftercare that was needed. I learned how to care for his port and remove his needle when he was able to do chemo at home. I made many midnight runs (as did my Husband) to go pick him up at his house and bring him to ours because he didn't want to be alone. I made numerous trips to his house just to sit and hang out with him because he didn't want to leave his house but was lonely. I called insurance companies, made Dr appts, helped him pay bills, went and picked up groceries ...
I am not telling about all of these things to "toot my own horn". I am sharing these things because I am SO very grateful for the chance to do these things. During all of those chemo and Dr appts, or the visits or drives to and from those appts or my house I got to talk to my Brother more than I had in the previous 30+ years. We talked about anything and everything and, to this day, I hear advice he gave me pop into my head on a regular basis. My Husband got the chance to know him. He got closer to him than probably some of our more immediate family is. Even my kids got close to "Uncle Steve". Those of you that knew Steve will never believe this but I think at times he actually liked having them around. Caleb would want to lay by him when he was staying with us. Parker was always checking on him to make sure he was ok. And Uncle Steve, in his own way, let those boys know that he thought they were "ok".
I loved my Brother so much. I always have. I hear stories all the time about when I was just 1 or 2 years old and he would always take me everywhere with him even though he was a 16 year old boy. But I have the best memories of him from the time I was able to spend over the last 2 years. He told me stories about his life, he told me how he felt about things, and he trusted me to take care of him.
For that time, I am so thankful! And even more thankful that I was able to be with him, holding his hand, when he took his final breath - he wasn't alone.