the brother i never knew – i’m sure i’ve talked about my siblings. and more specifically, brothers, but this brother is different. micheal was born and died almost exactly 7 years to the day of my entry into this world, for obvious reasons, i never got a chance to meet him. on his passing, he got buried with the most basic of children’s headstone. since that day, he was and seldom is ever discussed by my family.
i don’t know if that is weird, but Mary’s family honors the siblings they never had. family celebrations always had a vase of rose with eight roses. six red roses signified the living children and 2 white roses signified the children that had gone before them.
fast-forward some nearly 60 nears. and i found myself smack dab in the middle of my hellacious depressive cycle. i went to a funeral and the internment happened to be at micheal’s cemetery. after the solemn proceedings, my uncle Ed approached me and we went over to micheal’s site. micheal’s cement headstone with his name stamped into it stood in stark contrast to some of the surrounding, nicer marble headstones.
Ed made a kind and generous offer. he offered to contribute to an updated michael’s headstone if my family contributed to it. i kindly thanked him for the offer and took some pictures so i could explain the options to my siblings.
depression ruled, so days turned to months and i still hadn’t sent and the email to my siblings. you could rightfully say, “how much energy does it take to write and send an email?” there were literally hundreds of times i had composed the email in my head. unfortunately, the pathway from the brain to the keyboard and screen never cleared enough to make it happen. to answer the question from the beginning of the paragraph, “more than i had.” believe me, the many times i thought about the uncompleted request, i felt some combination of bad, sad, and a feeling of letting Ed down. even today, i still struggle with these feelings.
though i still hang around the periphery of depression this story has a happy ending. my uncle Ed took it on his own to purchase the upgraded headstone of his own resources. Ed sounds like a cool dude, huh? well, let me tell you, he is that and then some. oh, the stories i could tell, in a good way mind you.
(btw, the cemetery didn’t blur out my last name, i did. :^) )