Post by Gary Bohn
Well, it’s June 13, 3:40 in the morning, I can hear the rain bouncing off the roof of my condo and I can’t sleep. Today is the 3rd anniversary of my younger brother’s death, or rather today is his birthday, he would have been 45 years old. Every year since his death my family gets together on Rick’s birthday to celebrate his life by participating in one of his passions, golf. He was quite the golfer, in fact he was quite good in everything he did. Anyway, every year my family gets together, coming from different areas of the country, goes out onto the golf course Rick played on almost every summer day to talk about his life, tell stories about him as a kid, laugh at his mis-adventures and sometimes to cry together. This year, because of the rain and a few other problems we won’t be doing that. I guess we won’t be doing anything this year.
Because our parents divorced when we were young and I lived with my dad’s parents and Rick lived with my mother, 150 km away, we didn’t see each other much during our adolescent years. When I was 16 I moved in with my mother and spent 2 years with Rick, another brother and my sister. As we grew up we grew apart and moved to different cities and towns. You’d think that a family torn apart like ours was would be more likely to keep in touch, but no, not my family. It seemed we only got together for weddings and funerals and one golf game every couple of years.
I fix computers for a living (Rick hated the things and wouldn’t touch them) and my customers are all an hour or two away from my home. At least twice a week, for the last 9 years, I drive past the intersection of highway 1 and highway 47. At that intersection is a big sign with the name of the small town he lived in, reminding me that he was only 45 minutes or a phone call away. At the time he died I hadn’t spoken to him for almost two ears.
The stupid thing was that the weekend before his death I told myself to phone him. Because of one thing or another I didn’t, I don’t remember why, I just didn’t. During that week I kept promising myself that I would call him next Sunday when things are quieter for both of us. That Saturday at 4:05 pm my Father phoned to tell me my brother had been killed in a snowmobile accident. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t say a thing. I kept wanting to ask if he was going to be OK, even though I knew he was dead. Nothing would come out. Later that day when I phoned his wife, Doris, I kept wanting to tell her that if we could get the ambulance to him sooner he would be OK, but I knew that was stupid, so I didn’t. I remember that for months after the same thought kept coming into my mind, that if we get the ambulance to him sooner he would be ok. I knew this was an irrational thought but it kept coming back anyway.
Some days I envy those that can believe in a God and an afterlife. It would sure make days like this easier to deal with.
Well, I can hear the birds chirping outside and the sun is about to come up, I guess I should trundle off to bed and see if I can get some sleep.
Thanks for listening.
This was originally posted on a cold rainy sleepless night.
My brother died January 27 2001.