It’s been maybe about a week since I’ve updated you all. There have been a lot of things (really one huge thing plus other smaller things) that have been keeping me a bit preoccupied. And I’ve let those things distract me and get me off track. It’s not horrible that I strayed but, hm.
Some people will say that when things come up, exercising will make you feel better. AND THEY ARE RIGHT! Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel good. But at this point, I don’t actually want to feel better. I want to wallow and sulk and be gloomy…but life won’t allow that.
Here’s what’s going on: A close family member, my brother, is dying…quickly yet slowly. I’m sure if he knew I announced this, especially over the web, he’d be pissed but, what he’s starting to understand is that his sickness doesn’t affect just him. Sickness? AIDs. He’s had it for several years now and within the last year and a half it just caught up and started kicking his ass, almost out of nowhere. The fact is he’s not going to be with us much longer. I say it matter-of-factly because it is a matter of fact. There’s no more denying, ignoring, psyching ourselves out, (hoping the government will release the cure in time).
I went to see him yesterday after not having seen him in a week. He. Was. Not. My. Brother. He was someone else. A shell. He was somewhere in there and I could tell. When I arrived his eyes were closed. I called his name; he didn’t respond. I touched his hand, he half opened his eyes but couldn’t talk. NO ONE TOLD ME THIS! I was expecting him to wave, to say, “hey sis”, something. No one told me how bad it was – and for this I’m kind of angry. I didn’t have a chance to try to prepare myself and had to keep the brave face the entire time I was with him.
He was in there. He was not there.
A friend told me last night, “stay strong, mama.” I shook my head no. I’m tired of being the strong one. The “strong one” is the one people turn to, but never has anyone to lean on. The “strong one” has all the answers and knows what to do. I don’t! And I want someone to turn to. I want to be able to breakdown and lose it and have someone be my rock. But right now, I can’t. I have to be the strong one. I have to make sure my brother sees that I will be okay. Not to feel guilty. Not to feel like he ruined anything.
I have to make sure he knows that he is still loved and that even though I am “THISabled” I will still try to do whatever I can. He needs to know, or at least see, that I’m there. That’s what my aunt told me. She’s been through this before – with my mother. My mother died from AIDS-related complications.
No one dies from AIDS. They die from the complications that AIDS made possible.
My aunt said just be there. Talk. Play music. Read. Hold his hand. Make sure he knows…and so, he will know.
I feel horrible because I wonder how long it will take for him to “go”. This week? Next? Next month? See, he can’t eat, can’t drink, isn’t getting any real nutrition. So will his complication be that? Will it be a slow death because of starvation? Dehydration? That’s HORRIBLE! And I shouldn’t think about it, but I can’t help it. I need to know how he feels, what he’s feeling and he can’t tell me.
When this is done. I won’t have to be the strong one. I can hide in my corner and