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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One more dang thing after another, and I'm not sure I'm up to any more dang things

I had a nice experience yesterday.  My sister and brother in law, who were on their way to serve as missionaries in Ecuador, were hung up for more than a day in the Atlanta airport.  They rented a car and came down to Savannah to see Janet in the Rehabilitation Center at Memorial Hospital.  I met them there, and we visited for several hours, then went out to dinner (without Janet of course) then they came and stayed the night with me in Statesboro.  Early this morning they went back to Atlanta to take their plane.

An hour or so later I received a call from my other sister (whose voice I mistook for the sister who had just left our house) who informed me that early this morning my older brother died.  From a really nice experience directly to great pain.  My brother has been ill for some time, and I had hoped to get to Utah to visit with him for a week or so this summer.  It wasn't to be.

My brother is three years older than I, and we had, as children, the kind of relationship that older brothers and younger brothers have had for centuries.  We were sometimes close friends, sometimes collaborators in "dark" deeds.  I frequently felt "picked on" and he frequently felt pestered.

One day, with our babysitter sitting in the living room reading, we two brothers, who has just been sent to bed with threats of mayhem to follow if we didn't remain there, sneaked out the bedroom window, bars of soap in hand, and, in our pajamas, dashed across the street to his house (male babysitter) and soaped the windows of his bedroom with signs describing his posture, his love life and anything else that came to mind.  We were. of course apprehended as we returned to the bedroom, but though admitting to "fooling around in the yard we never copped to the signs on Glen's windows. 

On another day, when I was just trying to hang out with Doug and his friends, they tired of me and locked me in the neighbor's dirt cellar, being careful to warn me as they left me in the dark hole not to  pick up any spiders because the cellar was full of Black Widow Spiders.

Of course I was rescued a couple of hours later by the self same individuals who  put me in the dank hole.  They made a big issue of their heroic rescue and they diligently searched (by stripping me to my skivvies) to make sure I hadn't been attacked by the evil spiders.  They  then handed me my clothing and allowed me (nay, even urged me under threat of physical pain) to run home though the back yards of the homes between mine and the dirt cellar.

I was usually jealous of Doug, partially because he was older but also because he could do things I couldn't do.  If he made a crystal radio, he would get KNX in Los Angeles on it.  If I made a crystal radio I was luck to pick up the local NBC affiliate.  H had a knack of taking things apart and getting them back together with no parts left over.  The thing of which I was most jealous, and stayed that way most of my life was the way he made friends that continued to be his friends in spite of distance or anything else.   I have had friends that remained my friends as long as I was around, but very few of my friendship were sustained through distance and time.  That is something special.

When I was in high school he went on a mission to Canada.  It was like manna showering all over me.  He had been away at college and had very stylish clothes.  I had  worked at piddling jobs and went to high school without stylish clothes.   Suddenly I has a real COOl wardrobe>  My social status elevated sharply.  I am not sure he would have approved, but thats the was it goes.  I will write more about him in the next few days but I have to pick up Janet at the rehab center tomorrow morning early and right now I am almost a basket case.  I have written on this for two days and done half a days writing 

I especially want to write about our shared politics (He though Obama was the cat's pajamas.


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

Oh Lord, Richard! What a horrid day it has been for you. I'm so sorry to hear this! I came here to wish you a Merry Christmas and it looks like it's not to be. :(

God bless you, and I will pray that he helps you with your grief.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Norma said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. These things don't get easier (which is what I thought as I watched parents and grandparents go through it). Take comfort in the Savior this season, even in the trials with your wife and siblings.


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