Brian died on April 10th. He lived well beyond the 6 months they told him when he was first diagnosed. He had time to live and enjoy life. He also lived to give us a chance to understand what was happening. If he only lived 6 months after his diagnosis, he probably would not have undergone genetic testing. We wouldn’t know about the CDH1 mutation and the risk to our family. One of the reasons Brian lived was so others, including myself, would not have to go through what he did.
He as a year and a half younger, so I don’t remember a time without him. We shared a room for 18 years. He asked me if it was okay, if okay if he went to St. Joseph’s University and lived in Greaton Hall where I lived, so that would make it 21 years (although we weren’t roommates anymore). He was an amazing person, always a step ahead of me. He was a better artist than me. He was smarter. I started playing guitar before him; he was a better musician. I graduated before him; he started and finished graduate school before me. He married and started a family before me. The one thing he should have never done before me was leave this world.
Brian was a great brother and friend. If you knew him, you know how much he loved life. Didn’t think twice about walking through the mall in his onesy pajamas to have his picture taken with Santa (This was only a few years ago!). He would laugh telling the story about how he walked into a glass wall and broke his nose in the CNN building. Or about the time he got trapped under the large rubbermaid trash can full of mulch in his back yard. He would buy movie themed “snacks” to watch the academy awards. I laugh everytime I think of him going to the grocery store baker and asking her to write “Life of” on a pie as his tribute to “Life of Pi”, and his telling the story of how the baker said, “you want what? …just ‘Life of’? … okay.” He was one of a kind.
I will remember riding bikes out back. He had the coolest orange 5 speed with the banana seat. Tag, wiffle ball, kick ball in the breeze way between our house and the neighbors. Running back and forth between our little kid pool and the neighbors. They probably held 6 inches of water. Baseball in the back driveway eventually moved to the Acme partking lot. We could play street hockey for 20 to 30 minutes without having to call a time out to let a car pass. Before mom moved, I realized that you can’t go 30 seconds on that street without seeing a car today. He left me with many great memories. I wish we had time to make more.
Until we meet again…