When my bother died, a poem…
When my brother died,
the warmth of the universe
at every official measuring station
and did not recover.
Saturday morning shower of ideas…
It started with my father. On a Saturday morning, as I was getting into the shower, maybe before when I was brushing my teeth, I thought about him.
Dad died too young, I thought. He was only 66, and he was still interested in his grandchildren and the New York Mets. But he smoked all through a mostly stressful life, raised five of us singlehanded, married and divorced twice.
He was a tough guy and handled his decline with real grace.
But when my brother died…
He died too young, the same age as my father, 66. That’s too young, these days, especially for a man who lived a clean, exemplary life.
And too exotic. Deep vein thrombosis… Are you kidding me?
And it hit him like steamroller, a flood of mini-steamrollers sweeping through his body, pummeling him.
When my brother died, we never saw it coming.
I asked John, my doctor friend, “What exactly is deep vein thrombosis…?”
“We know where that’s going,” he said.
The event happens when people have cancer, he said.
“Cancer screws up you immune system and how blood clots develop. Everything goes haywire.”
Dr. John explained it more elegantly, but that’s how I heard it.
The trouble was, when my brother died, he did not have cancer… that he or anyone else knew of. In fact, he’d been cleared.
No satisfaction in that.
So, on that morning of tributes to lost loved ones, I wrote some verses about my brother, a really nice, warmhearted, fair-minded and loving man who did too soon.