Monday, November 12, 2007

November 11

I intended to write this yesterday, but I just never could get around to it. November 11th is a crazy day for me. But it has gotten easier as the years go on.

I woke up about 3:00 am yesterday, maybe that shouldn't surprise me. Shortly after I woke up, Lindsey woke up too, needing to take Zeke out (at least that is what she said). Maybe it was the lightening (and thunder --- 2 loud bursts) that woke him up? I don't know, I was already awake.

Early in the morning of November 11th, 1985, I too was awakened. Nancy and I were on our way to Downers Grove and had stopped for the night in Frankfort, Kentucky. Around two or three in the morning, I woke up, got Nancy up so that we could continue our drive to Illinois. We arrived early in the morning, much earlier than we were expected. 45 minutes after we arrived, Stewart, my baby brother died from his cancer.

November 11th --- the first few years after his death, I would stay home and be miserable all day. I couldn't function on that day. Fortunately, it wasn't until 1990, that I had to deal with November 11th being a Sunday.

I don't get depressed like I once did on November 11th. But I am still sad, sad about a life cut short. Sad about all the missed opportunities. Sad, because Stewart and I never had the chance to move out of being "boys" together and becoming men.

But there is a lesson for me every November 11th. It is a reminder that life is fragile and short. A reminder that disease and illness can rear it's ugly head at any unsuspected moment. A reminder that if I put off smelling the flowers, enjoying my children, my friends, . . . that the opportunity may be lost.

Sounds like a good reason to be a pessimist. Nah, I think November 11th reminds me to see the glass as half full, to look out the right windows, to see and grasp the opportunities that are set before me.

Enjoy today! It is truly a gift from God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,
Thanks for your blog today. I know it took a lot of soul-searching to write as you relived the day of your brother's death. I've had 29 December 13's to get through after my brother's death, too. Your blog reminds me that while the pain never totally leaves us, it also reminds us of the immense joy our brothers brought to our world and all the people they touched. I have always found solice in the fact that those who have gone before us are safe, will never feel pain nor loneliness, will always be watching over us, and bask in God's glory and love. It's not as much as it should be, but it's the only comfort available if one is a person of faith. Bless both our brothers.............Diane