At the beginning of your life story

When my children were little, I tried to impress upon them how important they are to each other. I talked to them about how their sibling is the one person that will always know the beginning of their story.  In their case, the one other person who will know about the characters that inhabited their lives growing up.

I am thankful that my children seem to have absorbed this lesson. It makes me feel good when I find out how often they talk to one another.

I know that when my Mother was alive that she was gratified when her kids would get together. She was so happy that we could all laugh and kid and talk to one another.

I find that part of my story is going to leave me. My brother is going to die very soon. He is sick and is not going to survive. It brings home the knowledge that our lives can be too short and that we need to make sure that those close know how we feel.

You see, I have been angry with my brother for the last few years. I have not been angry enough that words were exchanged but our communications were certainly not as frequent. It did not help the situation when he told me that he thought I was might be angry with him and he did not contact me to “clear the air.”

In case you are ever in this situation, let me give you a hint. If you know that a person might be mad at you and you don’t try and fix it, do not tell them that you thought that they might be mad but you didn’t do anything. It just makes it worse.

Even though I knew that my brother was going to die, I was still angry with him. I was holding on to my anger. I knew that I should let it go. I decided (perhaps with some prodding) that I had to at least act like I wasn’t angry and go see him.

I will tell you that when I went and it was obvious that there was not much time left for him, I knew that my anger did not make a difference.

This was not a miracle change of heart. I still think that what he did was wrong but in the scope of being right and losing him, the most important thing is that I am going to lose him. And I am so sad about that. He will no longer be my fellow trouble maker at the family dinner table. The brother I could look at and be fairly sure we were thinking the same terrible thoughts. The one I would laugh with when we shouldn’t be laughing.

When I was with him that day, we talked about the neighborhood where we grew up. We talked about neighbors. Since he is older than I am, he remembered different things and people in some cases. He did remember that I had broken the neighbors gazing ball and we did a short synopsis of family stories about him. In other words, we shared part of our joint life story.

After I returned home from that visit, I thought about how my anger with him was not important anymore. The important thinking was that he would be gone and I would miss him.

And part of my story will be forever lost.

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About Brian and Carol Early Cooney

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10 Responses to At the beginning of your life story

  1. Aww . . . Carol! This is heartbreaking. I am sad for your loss (in tears now) and wish there was something I could do to help. You are in my thoughts though. (((hugs)))

  2. Susan Flynn ( Monahan) says:

    Dear Carol,
    You are a
    very honest and true person. I hope you find Peace in your heart. I will pray for you and your Brother. I am happy you went and spoke with him.
    Your Friend,
    Susan Monahan

  3. Early says:

    Thank you so much, Carol. It’s often difficult for me to be out here in the hinterlands, so far from the center of the Early universe. It is especially so now. Your words show the distance is only one of miles. I’m glad you and Cath and Josh are there.
    Thanks again.
    Love,
    Chris

  4. Oh, Carol, how sad for you to lose such an important anchor in your own history. I am so glad you were able to mend things with your brother. Thanks for sharing this important and personal story.

  5. Poignant and moving post. Firstly, I am sorry for your brother’s ill health.
    It is a reminder to keep things in perspective and the importance of family. I cam imagine myself feeling this way about my own siblings. Thanks for the reminder about what is truly important.
    Btw, I came over to your blog after reading your guest post on Bob. I loved the line “I have never been so busy not earning much money.” I hear that. Anyway, I have to take that challenge soon. I am not confident in my tech skills but know I need to get over this. And of course find the time.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate them. Do try the challenge – it is in “bite size pieces” so it isn’t bad each day. Yes, you still need to find the 15 minutes each day (funny how hard it can be to find!) but it is worth it. But do come over to the Wordsmith Studio group page on Facebook. The group is very supportive and pretty funny.

  6. Awww, Carol. I am sorry to hear about your brother but glad the two of you reconnected so that you would realize what was important. I know what you mean about mothers being gratified when their children are together. My brother and I are seven years about. I’m the oldest. We pretty much left home at the same time. I married and Marine and my brother went into the Marine Corp. Just so happens that the first Christmas we were away from home my mom said was the saddest she ever felt with the “empty nest” but at the same time she was very happy because my brother and I were together. My husband and I were in Japan and my brother’s until came over for six weeks for an exercise. So I got to see him from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

  7. I am so sorry to hear that you are facing the loss of your brother, but glad that the alternative didn’t happen – he could have passed suddenly without your having an opportunity to, if not clear the air, at least re-connect. There have been periods in our lives when my sister and I weren’t connecting for one reason or another – it still seems odd to me that we have both lived someplace that the other never saw. You are very correct – even if you’re married for 80 years, unless you grew up together, it’s still your siblings who were there at the beginning of your story and who know you best. Now that the door has been open for communication, hopefully you live close enough to spend more quality time together while he’s still able…and pass more of that history on to the kids.

  8. Pingback: Warm Thoughts | Carol Early Cooney

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