“Hmmm...How To Keep Up
With The Joneses?” My brother affectionately patted the book I had put in
his lap. “Now that's a job all on its own, isn't it?”
His sparkling blue
eyes looked up into mine and there was the same little boy grin I had always
loved. He was surrounded with pillows which propped him up in his large,
overstuffed chair. The ever ready wheel chair stood waiting should he need
to be moved.
“Yes mam! Now that's a
job all its own.” He repeated the statement and his old personality burst
forth if only for an instance. Once nothing conquered his will but today he
was obviously in a situation he
could not beat.
His arms were thin and
skeletal. The once strong hands that built the beautiful ranch lands and
this home were now twisted and gnarled. This room where he struggled
through a daily trial now seemed massive and somehow he was lost in the size
of it. His thin, frail body was only a wisp of what was once a strong,
stalwart frame. Only for an instance was there a note of bitterness in his
“I don't know why I'm
going to all the doctors, five at least and then that bunch at Mayo.
Nothing can be done!”
It was the first time
in my life I had ever seen him without a positive attitude and it made me
“Thanks for the book.
I'll read it with pleasure. If you come back, I'll return it,” and again he
grinned his wide mischievous smile.
“Oh no! No! Give it to
one of the kids. They will get a kick out of it.”
Our meetings throughout all our lives were just like this. We fought through
our own personal trials and when did see each other only a brief hug,
promise of sharing more time together and quick good-byes were part and
parcel of the pattern.
“You know I dreamed
about you night before last!” He smiled again.
“And I dreamed about you
the night you fell.” I held back my tears as I leaned over to pat his arm.
“We just never got to be together did we?” Tears washed over my face and I
couldn't even stop the car to cry because I had an appointment I had to