I had hoped to treat this like any other Sunday, you know, coffee, New York Times, read about someone else's adventures, but I can't.
My mother reminded me today is my brother's birthday. Michael, the fourth boy, father and favorite uncle. The one with the bluest eyes, infectious laugh, the winning poker player and according to our mother, the only one who could dance. Well, it would have been his 53rd had his life not been cut way too short twelve years ago. After suffering a blunt force trauma to his head he lived in a coma for seven months. His eyes were open, his body contracted, and shaking. His coma was not a peaceful one so often portrayed in the movies. His existence looked unbearable, yet his body and heart tried to carry on. One morning the call finally came, he was officially gone. I was relieved.
I like to think he had moved on long before. Unbelievably, another brother had been in a coma years earlier, but lived to tell about it courtesy of a liberal dosing of holy water from Lourdes, France if you listen to our mother. My mother still orders it several times a year. She sends it to every sick person she knows. She still believes in its power. I think in Michael's case she believes it set him free. In her heart she knew watching him all those months, gingerly putting it on his head, he'd never dance with her again.
He is so missed.
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