Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brother has gone home!

My beloved cousin/brother died this morning. I call him brother because, as children, we were together as one family. After my mother's death, when I was 11-months old, I went to stay with my grandmother, a full-time elementary school teacher. My Aunt Renee, my mother Elaine's only sibling, and her husband shared their two-bedroom apartment with us. Therefore, we lived as a family. Garth was born when I was three--my birthday in December and his in March. My great-grandmother was going to be my caregiver while my grandmother was teaching, however, she fell and broke her hip. My grandmother was the principal of the Wattis school at the time of my mother's death but gave up that position to teach in Price. Aunt Renee and Uncle Max lived in Price. World War II had started. My father went to war. 

Aunt Renee was the one who potty-trained me and provided daytime care. Garth was born when I was three and I thought he was the best thing since the creation of the world. I held him and patted him and, probably, drove Aunt Renee crazy. He was always my prince. After a time, my great grandmother came back to be with us. There was no room in a three-bedroom house for all of us. We moved to a small rented house nearby and Garth, later David, and when I was age 11, Richard, continued to spend countless hours together. I was "Big Sister" to all of them and I took my responsibility seriously. I bossed them around and they, mostly, complied. We played like brothers and sister and, we thought, we were. How I love those boys (now men) who have always been there for me. 

I cannot help but be sad that they are leaving and I am the one left--the oldest. Just David and I remain because cancer has claimed Richard and, now Garth. I cannot cry too much because it was time. Daily pain is a terrible thing.

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