Losing the War

In the beginning were my brothers.

I was the last of four and the only daughter. The youngest of my brothers was four years older than me. He was athletic, smart, and popular. The other two were older still, and growing up, they loomed larger than life. To say I looked up to them would be a gross understatement.

After our parents passed, the line between parent and brother sometimes blurred. No matter what question I asked, they could answer it. At times, I would go to them for their opinion before considering my own.

I remember the four of us sitting together after our mother died, another victim of the disease that runs in our family. We couldn’t help but wonder which one of us would be next.

We found out about eighteen months ago, when one of my oldest brothers was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He has fought an unflagging fight, but his strength is waning. His doctors are working to make him more comfortable.

He told me last week he hopes this won’t be a long, drawn out thing. I didn’t know how to respond. I don’t want him to be in pain, but neither do I want him to go anywhere. I just stroked his arm as gently as I could.

There have always been my three big brothers. I don’t know how to consider any other way.

This entry was posted in November 2011 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Losing the War

  1. WOW! Sherri. My heart goes out to you and your family, I will keep you in my prayers. I was first exposed to this horrific disease back in 1997 when my husband’s favorite brother was dying from it. Then he lost another brother to it after we moved here to Virginia from New Jersey. After we arrived here, I found out that my mother had stage 4 breast cancer, and I had to deal with that. She lost that battle in August of 07. It is something that 20 years ago, I was pretty convinced would not visit my family or anyone that I love. But, I have learned it does not discriminate. Look above. I could not have dealt with this any other way.


  2. Hugs and prayers to you and your brother.

  3. I’m very sorry to hear about this. Here too, it is a season for partings, but no one as close as a brother. I truly hope you all will find the strength within you to weather this terrible storm.

  4. Been there, Sherri. I lost a favorite brother to brain cancer five years ago. Watching him slowly melt away was the so hard that near the end I just couldn’t go any more. Surrounded by his family, he died two days later and my life is a little dimmer because of it. He was such a champion of mine that I push myself to do things he would have applauded. He still makes me better. I wrote about him here. http://beadergirl.blogspot.com/2006/07/for-ross.html

  5. Oh, no. This is just awful. I’m so, so sorry.

  6. maggie says:

    there’s no easy way to balance the suffering of our loved one and the ultimate pain we’ll face at their passing. sounds as if your brothers are special to have stepped in with the loss of your parents.

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