For A Brother’s Sake

On the other side of the computer from you, I sit.

And I choose what to write about and send out in to this unending sphere of words.  I prefer to write about every day events.  The little things I want to focus on.  The little things I don’t want to let escape.  The positive things I want to recycle.  And some things that are bigger than others.

I’m very aware that life is full of variables.  Not everything feels good.

Not everything is positive.

But everything is something I want to learn from.  And experience – fully.

It’s been difficult to focus on words recently.  Because here, on this side of the computer, I am exhausted.

Life does that sometimes.  It takes every thing you have and demands even more from you.

On this side of the computer life is emotional.   I have spent over two weeks watching my husband and his siblings circle around.  As they watch over a brother.  It’s literally all they can do – most moments.

And it is physically and emotionally draining to only be able to stand, or sit, and watch.

It is difficult to watch when you physically want to fix.

You want to do something to make him wake up.  To make him get up.  To make him join life.  It is exhausting fighting the physical twitch and burn – to do – and instead just make yourself sit still.

And just be.

Watch over him.  And be helpless.

For almost three weeks now we have accepted exhaustion as part of our condition.  And stillness as part of our being.  Hearts hurt from love.  Butts hurt from sitting.  Muscles ache to do something.

In all of this, I have looked for and found, positive.

In all of this there are no answers.  But there is hope.

In not knowing what the future holds, there is laughter and exasperation in what they shared with him to this point.  And there is life in the re-sharing of it.

In the seriousness of the hospital setting there are siblings, family and friends laughing-so he can hear it.  And there is help from one to another to get through.

In the time spent together there is time for discussions, where time for these discussions didn’t exist before.  People talk.  People listen.  People hear.

While sitting and watching there is compassion for one another and new understandings formed.

In the over flow to the waiting rooms because there is family-a-plenty, relationships are strengthened.  Or begun.

And there is something oddly funny and comforting about the differences and arguments that are normal to the family, even in this setting.

I want to recycle all of the positive experiences of this difficult time.  I want to save them for when he wakes up.  So he knows what part he played in the positive atmosphere he was here for.

I know there are ‘ifs’ to consider.

But right now, on this side of the computer, I choose to focus on the positive.  The hope that is.  And amp up for whatever life demands of me, us, next.

I hope you find a positive today.  And every day.

Even if you have to look through the difficult, to find it.  Even if you have to choose to acknowledge it’s existence.

40 thoughts on “For A Brother’s Sake

  1. Best wishes. As you know we are watching a similar cruel tale unfold with my friends young boy. My only advice is one given to me, “Do not look past today, we can always get through today”


  2. It’s interesting…some of my best memories have come from some of the most awful times in our family’s lives. During those hard times we have all pulled together. One distinct memory was being in the hospital with my mom watching my grandma die. Even though we were both so distraught, we had some of the best conversations and best laughs remembering all of the memories of grandma.


    • I so understand this Melissa. It was the same when my father passed. Having us all together talking about the funny things he had done, it was healing. And the laughter is often what keeps us breathing through every thing.


  3. Colleen, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I know what your going thru, because I travel a similar path with my brother. — Please take care, Bill


  4. Husband and family of Husband… He knows you are there for him! And Chatter Master, this quote has been getting around today… It simply states:

    “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our life put us directly on track to the best things that could ever happen to us.”


  5. It is clear this is a very difficult time for you and your family. I too have endured the exhaustion and fear and helplessness of watching a loved one’s suffering. My heart goes out to you, and I applaud your desire and ability keep positive thoughts. My best, Heart


  6. You’re amazing to amp up the positive at the end of this post, Colleen. I didn’t know you were going through this. I dearly, dearly wish you well.


    • Thank you Noeleen. I fall so behind it seems. I’m trying to get caught up. Reading and responding right now actually gives me a break from the constant thinking and wondering.

      Thank you for wishing me well, it feels good to know that.


  7. I have been so far behind, and finally got caught up today. I have a better understanding now of your latest post. Reading this reminded me of when we all gathered around my mother as she was in a coma and, as it turned out, on her way to meet with those who went before her. As you put it (so accurately), hearts that hurt, butts that hurt, muscles that ached, with all the waiting and wanting. Yet there were, as you’ve pointed out, so many positives of gathering around. Conversations, laughter, love. Sorry to have brought you back to an older post, but I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the way you see the positives in life, in illness, and even in death. I’d give you a hug, but I’m not sure if you’re the hugging (strangers) type so… consider it done if you are, and not if you aren’t.


    • It’s okay Robin, I don’t mind ‘coming back’. And you make me chuckle. Though I am not a ‘hugger’ per se….I seem to be doing a lot of hugging lately. 🙂 Thank you for your kindness.


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