Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Missing My Brother

My younger brother died in 2000. He was only 35 at the time. He'd made some bad life choices, but then who hasn't. His choices came back to bite him.
He was living at the Omega House in Houston at the time. It's a hospice place where people go to die.
I'm not sure why he didn't come home. He'd caused my mom to add a few wrinkles, and maybe he didn't want to add any more. 
Jilda and I flew out to see him a few times, and I took mom out once. He died peacefully in his sleep.
It was a week of funerals. One of my best friends died unexpectedly of a blood clot. I did the his Eulogy. It's one of the hardest things I ever did.
The next day we got a call that another dear friend's mother was in grave condition. We arrived at the hospital moments before she died. 
We were heading to her funeral when my cellphone rang. It was the Omega House.
It was not my intention, to make this a downer, but my brother would have been 46 years old on February 15 and I woke up thinking about him this morning.
He loved nice things. He had a great car, his clothes were designer and tailored. He owned the best things he could afford.
Last year as we were cleaning out my mom's house before we had to sell it, I found a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses.
I knew they weren't my mom's, unless she had a rich boyfriend she'd neglected to tell us about.
I then realized these were my brother's sunglasses. I guess the reason they were at my mom's house was because one of the arms (?) was broken, otherwise the glasses looked new.
I brought them home and put them in the drawer where I keep my special things. I wasn't sure what I'd do with a pair of broken Ray Ban's but it seemed like the thing to do. I'd looked online for Ray Ban repair and it looked like it would be anywhere from $40 to $80 do get the arm replaced.
Today I got up on a mission. I rifled through all my junk drawers looking for an old pair of cheap sunglasses. I found a pair that had lenses so scratched it was like looking through a kaleidoscope, when you wore them in the sun. But the arms were in perfect condition.
I got my jeweler kit and removed the arm from the scratched glasses and it fit perfectly on the Ray Bans. 
I had to smile when I finished. Jilda snapped a photo tonight for the blog. Somehow putting the Ray Ban's back in service made me feel a little closer to my brother. I'm sure he'd be happy.


  1. Anonymous8:41 PM

    Some days are like that...you find yourself overwhelmed with memories.

  2. Thirty-five is pretty young. Sorry about your loss, but it's good that you're keeping the good memories.

  3. Thank goodness for the memories. I had a sister who died before I was born and I often wonder what she would have been like as a sister. It's so hard to lose a young family member. My nephew committed suicide when he was a senior in high school. But we have wonderful memories to remember him by.

  4. Action helps. Picture looks good. Two younger and the eldest brothers are gone from DH family as is his Mother and the older generation. Memories.

  5. Anonymous10:14 PM

    what a wonderful memory keeper, so sorry for your loss, we never know which path our lives will lead but if we are loved we are always winners.He must have been loved even though his path was a rough one,

  6. Vietnamese proverb: Brothers and sisters are as close to one another as hands and feet. We need them don't we?
    I lost my nephew who was 26 and my Dad one day apart from each other. I left my Dad's funeral to drive to SC to be there for my nephews. One of my darkest times in my life.
    I send love and prayers to you dear friend...the hurt gets easier to bear but never goes away...

  7. I'm so sorry about your brother. I also lost a brother when he was 21. You never forget the times you had together as children, do you? I think it is great you fixed the glasses and now can wear them. They look cool by the way. :)

  8. What a wonderful idea you had Rick.

  9. Restoring these glasses is a most wonderful tribute to your brother!

    Thanks for sharing, take care

  10. What a wonderful tribute to your brother. :) I'm so glad you found those Ray Bans and that you're now wearing them in his honor.

    I completely understand that whole 'waking up thinking about him' thing. The anniversary of my Daddy's passing is just around the corner and somehow, someway, memories of him seem to overwhelm me every year at this time. It will be 14 years on the 8th. And I still miss him every single day.

  11. I can relate to the fact that time really never does do us any favors when it comes to the lasting grief over losing someone we love so dearly. In its own self, Deb... it becomes a blessing for you, when it comes to your brother. You see... you had one to count you as his sister. Even in loss... wrap your arms around THAT blessing and let it warm your heart with loads of love.

  12. Love the pic of you in the sun glasses. Very stylish!! Your brother was so young when he passed. That's sad. Mine was 63 when he died in 2010 and I thought that is still so young. Makes me realize that making each day count is so important! Good post today my friend!

  13. The heart always remembers.
    Memories are a good thing,
    even though they sometimes make us blue...Good job on the glasses!!

  14. I'm sorry that you lost your brother at such a young age. You sound like you were a good older brother to him. It's good to remember the fun things about our loved ones. Yesterday was the anniversary of my nephew's death. He was only 18. Jono and my Sister were in my thoughts all day.

  15. so sorry about your brother.

  16. This post just made me feel good. Thank you for sharing.

  17. I am sorry about your brother - same story for mine - he died in 1997. And my daughters birthday is 2/15. Weird. Right? sandie

  18. Very nice. I love Ray Bans and I'm sure your brother would have approved. It'll be a nice remembrance of him. Sad when people pass when they are so young.

  19. Such a touching post. I'm sorry for your family's loss. It seems so many folks I know have lost their brothers. It seems so wrong.

    I'm sure you're right about your brother being happy with your repair to his sunglasses. I'll bet he's smiling down at you.. and probably squinting without his shades. ;)


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