One Year

Jim and Jack, ca. 1961, from the Sherman archives

One year ago today, we lost my brother and this is the story, more or less. At age 51, I had lost a close relative for the first time. My grandparents were all gone, of course, but that is a different thing and too long for this entry.

I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. For a *really* long time, I couldn’t cry. Or maybe didn’t is a better word. I put on my road-warrior uniform, grabbed my frog and my powerbook and hit the pavement. North and back and north and back and north and back again. Ad nauseam. Didn’t unpack the entire summer. As only sibling, the role I crafted for myself was to keep track of how others were doing, whether they needed me to do that or not. Jim’s *very* strong wife and daughters and our healthy but elderly parents. I tried to be there if there was even an inkling that someone might need an ear or a shoulder or whatever.

I like to think I have encountered my brother since last year. There was the time, shortly after Jack died, that just the right used vee-hickle showed up at just the right price. And a little fly-by during Liz’s graduation. And then there was a dream. Karen and I were standing in The Commander’s kitchen in Siberia at about 3 AM. That weird bat-scope time of the morning. I don’t know what we were doing there. Our butts were not on the floor so it probably didn’t involve drinking B&B or some other dangereuse activity. But I looked out the window and he was there looking in at us, smiling a smile that I can only describe as love. “Thanks, you guys, for pulling together,” he seemed to be saying. I’ve had prescient dreams before (and since, unfortunately) but that’s the first time I felt like I had contact with someone on the other side, albeit through a window.

I finally started reaching for the kleenex in about March but that was after all kinds of other shit had hit the fan. Nowadays, I’m kind of drifting. Waiting for something to happen. Something good, thank you very much. Some days I get on a roll and *make* myself do something productive. Or I am at least able to tap into the positive energy of someone else for a while. Other days, I do not want to talk about. Today is one of those. People who have already walked this road tell me what I’m experiencing is normal and typical. I am grateful for their wisdom and take considerable comfort from it but I still wish I could get beyond it. The family, or what’s left of it, will all be together on the beach next week. That will help.

One year. Miss you, bro’.

2 Responses to “One Year”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    Val wrote a poem that I’ve posted on my blog – sums things up pretty well, I think!


  2. sam Says:

    The time-space continuum has wrinkes and irridescence that physicists will never explain. Many hugs via the cyber-world, and a few when I see you soon….