Tuesday, March 1, 2011

No Goodbye

  It was a Wednesday, twenty-two years ago at this very moment when I last saw my brother alive. I was visiting my mother when Chaz walked in with that brightness of life in his eyes and the boyish grin. The first thing that he noticed was my earring that I had put in the day before. "What is this?" I remember him saying as he thumped my ear lobe with his finger. I was a little embarrassed about it, I do not know why. Chaz was a couple years older than I and we were the best of friends. After a little wrestling around and taking some heat from him I told him that I would see him, later. I had no idea that would be the last time I would ever see, or speak to my brother, again. Two days later, he was dead. The life taken in the blink of an eye by an automobile accident. I got a call the next Friday that he had been in an accident and I picked my mother up to take her to the hospital. This was nothing new. He had many accidents. Most because of drinking and driving and this, we thought, was just another car crash, praying that no one else was hurt. That was my biggest fear, that he would injure or kill someone. When we reached the hospital we were told to wait in the ER waiting area. I could see through the doors to the cubicle that my brother was being treated. There was a lot of activity, lots of people in and out of his cubicle. My mom sat in stoned silence. I think she knew. The one thing I was sure of was this would turn out just like all the others. He would be admitted for observation and let go the next day. I tried to reassure my mom that he was okay. I believed that. After about 30 minutes the staff left his cubicle. I was waiting for permission to go see him when a doctor and two nurses came out and asked for the Riley family. I heard the words "We did all that we could do, I am sorry." My mind could not grasp what the doctor was saying. The next few hours were a blur. I had ran my fist through every glass door in the waiting room and ripped chairs that were bolted to the floor out of their moorings. Death had, once again, tore through me as it had before. I had lost my brother, my best friend, and my mind. Why? Why? That is an answer I have yet to learn.     theblogmeister

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