Goodbye Dear Brother

Monday, April 27th, 2020 around Noon Central Time my brother left this world. Covid-19 proved to be too much for him.

At 53 years old a blood clot in his lung caused a massive heart attack after a 3-week battle with the virus in the ICU.

I can’t put into words how much I loved him and will miss him.

His life was not an easy one. He took the brunt of abuse by my father and mother that created life-long mental illnesses. His path was full of hills and setbacks, but if asked he might say he “lived.” Some people just coast through life. My brother had many wonderful experiences mixed in with the bad.

He was one hell of a cook and a master Gardener. He thought about chef school. He could grow anything. He told me of times when he went camping and prepared four-course meals over the open fire. People from all over the campground would wander into their spot, brought in by the intriguing smells, with mouths watering.

He loved to walk with his dogs. He loved dogs. I didn’t like his dogs, LOL! He didn’t discipline them at all. They were his babies.

If you ever thought to hear what an angel sounded like; it would be my brother singing. I cried while he sang a choir solo in the Cathedral in St. Paul, MN. I had the honor to sing many duets with him in choirs, at weddings, at funerals.

My brother loved beauty. That IS OK for a man to do. He loved all his beautiful houseplants and yard and garden plants. He enjoyed art and music and the people who created those. He was learning to paint. He loved being outdoors. He loved the beauty in a person’s soul, not only what/who a person is on the outside. He loved to watch his dogs run and play. Simple beauty.

He put passion into everything he did. He did everything the best he could do. He loved hard, was hurt hard.

He enjoyed a damn good party! I will miss his laughter ringing out over the skies at a bonfire. He looked ridiculous when he danced, but … he…danced. He would throw caution to the wind, and dance. OK, liquid inebriation helped.

He knew MANY people in his life. People of all colors and creeds and customs and cultures. There were times when people were mean or abusive to him, but he gave them second chances. Often third or fourth.

He was my protector and playmate as a child, my driver and roommate in college, my friend and mentor as adults. We had conversations that lasted for hours and went into the long hours of the night. We could talk about ANYTHING. Of course, we didn’t always agree, but usually we did. Often, it seemed like he and I against the world. We understood each other.

I could write about the bad stuff. The prejudice against his being Gay. The times he was bullied and beaten for being fat or for having the rare disease we both have. His suicide attempt. His abuse by others. His HIV status. His diabetes. The last few years of his life which were very bad.

I’d rather talk about how intelligent he was. How much he loved animals. How much he lived a good life. How he chose to go back to college when he lost a job he’d had for 25 years and try again. How he tried every day to not let depression lead his life. His creativity, his passion, his bright aura.

That smile. His hugs. His deep bellied laughter. The way he could just do what he wanted despite those who might judge. The way he was…him. The entire body of stubborn and wonderful him.

He believed in God. Where he is now may he be at peace. May he be with all his dogs walking through a field at sunset and singing.

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