Storm victim…

4 12 2009

Yesterday morning I had just started my morning Zazen practice when the cell phone rang. I let ring. A short moment later the house phone rings, again I let it . The message part kicked in it was the nursing home where my brother was staying. Still I sat, I felt it would wait another 15 min. Even though they said it was important, I felt I needed to finish my cushion time to deal with this. It was not going be pleasant…

On my last visit to LA I gathered my brother’s items from his Apt, at least the things I felt maybe important to him. His music instruments, electronics ( including the computer I’m writing on), some pictures, some files, a small bit of clothes, that sort of thing. It was weird going through his stuff and picking things from his life that I thought mattered. His dreams, hopes, loves, all reduced to stuff in a box. With no kids, one’s life is reduced to stuff, items to be stored, given away or whatever.  It was even weirder since he was alive, just unable to function. After making the selections and staying up all night packing I directed his roommate to donate whatever was left, and she did not want to charity.

The next day I took care of some hospital stuff and headed back north. It was even weirder going through his things at home. There I had time to ready sort and think about things. Feel his spirit in items and pictures. Thinking back on us as kids, we were not that close as he was the baby and I was some 8 years older so could not relate. I never dreamed things would be like this. Once we grew into adults and both were musicians and graphic designers there was common grounds for us. We even worked together on a couple of musical projects together. I came to respect him as a musician and had him sit in on a few recording with me, doing drums, guitar and backup vocals. I had played his guitar and bass just the other night as I was sorting stuff, what goes where, what to hold for him, what can be given away to family.

The big music event in his life was playing for several years with the Bus Boys, both touring and recording. That was something he had up on me, I toured but on the club circuit, he did the concert circuit. Nice! Forever now, when the Bus Boys are looked up like on Wiki, and You Tube his name will be there.

The storms of life were not good to him over the last few years. He lost his job of a long period when he changed to another company which after 1 month could not afford to keep him. After that things got worse with the economy failing. He was unable to not only find work, but his health was also failing. He could not afford to stay on the diabities medicine due to the cost. So he skipped doses, his legs went out , as did his sight and ended up finally in the hospital.

He kept the family in the dark about the seriousness of his illness and even when hospitalize it took a while for us to know what was really going on. With the distance involved it was difficult to do anything. I made a point of planing some trips down for this and that and visiting him.

I returned the phone call to the nursing home…it was not a surprise… he had passed away that eary that morning. They had called to give me notice.

RIP little brother, this path of suffering is over.