Currently, there are a lot of shows that are set in DC and I love almost all of them. Since we sold our last house and started renting- any monument or DC scene coming on the screen would prompt one of us to say, "Home."
This is home.
Home is also on the shore of the Savannah River, a place we will be returning to quite soon- about a month, actually. I am both very sad and very happy to pack these bags. Over the past few days, the texts messages, emails, and phone calls have set in asking about Brother and how he is doing.
He's doing... okay.
I'd love to throw that pie-in-the-sky-lie and say, "GREAT! What stroke? You'd never know it." But, you would. Now that time has passed and the dust has settled, I feel I can mention this now, not because it is not a secret, but because -well- when these things happen, everything is on the surface, everyone wants to help, and we can do is pray.
And Pray Hard.
Mom and Dad dropped us off at the airport on the 3rd and drove directly to the hospital where the ambulance would meet them. Husband and Wife did not know it, but he was in the midst of more seizures. Three days later- three agonizing and frustrating days later- he was discharged. The doctors needed to get the tremors under control. 'Seizure Activity' was a term they used over and over. I asked the question, "Is that a sugar coat for 'seizure'?" Mom did not have an answer. Husband did not have his phone. Dr. Mobile (like the city, mostly because that's what I call her, and think she might not want her name here) got a phone call. 'Seizure Activity' means that the body is starting a seizure episode but the medicine is catching it and preventing it from breaking through. The seizure activity went on for several hours. These were much milder than the last ones, but they were there and kicked driving back another six months. Maybe Thanksgiving? Here's hoping and here's praying that this is it.
After getting discharged, Brother went directly to Husband's alma mater to see a nationally recognized expert who made a few tweaks to his medicine, but otherwise wanted to stay the course of action.
Medicine and prayers.
Someone the other day used the term "gregarious" to describe my brother and that is exactly what he is-- gregarious. Through all this, he has lost so much, but that part of him, and that love for love is there.
Brother and SIL were married in July several years ago. It was hot. Damn hot. Brother wore the dinner jacket that was the favorite item in his closet. SIL had a beautiful Amsale silk strapless dress and carried white flowers. Her blond hair was tucked under the mantilla that her mother wore several decades prior. SIL's eldest cousin, who traveled over from her home in Italy, spent the weeks prior to this occasion with two large sheets of sheer paper and a pair of scissors. She hand cut a lace pattern for the two full-length windows that were anchored on either side of where they said their vows. The ceremony was nothing but immediate family.
As SIL walked down the aisle with her father, Brother started crying. Tears streamed openly down his cheeks and stained his jacket as he watched his future bride take the 37 steps from fiancée to wife. When the two arrived at the end of the make-shift aisle, Brother started laughing- that loud and infectious laughter that once you hear, you can never forget. SIL started laughing and wiped her tears away, from under her lashes so as not to disturb her mascara. Dad was laughing and started crying. My mom, ever the rock, shook her head from left to right, probably with mummers of something like, "soup sandwiches" before laughing with everyone else. SIL's parents did not know what to do, but laugh. Brother and SIL were the 19th couple to marry in this family homestead of SIL's small hometown, blocks from the county courthouse.
They would have two babies. They would battle work problems, house problems, and life problems. They had no idea that these moments that they thought were the hardest would prepare them for their seventh wedding anniversary and the way their life tipped upside down. They are flying through this time in their life with the best that they can and praying to get to the other side. Life is a new normal and a new level of difficult.
But, all this to say this-- I am eternally thankful that he is here to be frustrated with. He is here to love. He is here to see, to touch, to kiss, and to hope for that laughter to return. It will come, of that I am certain.
In the meantime, it's medicine and prayers. And lots of both.
So, thank you. Thank you for your calls, emails, messages, prayers, thoughts, words, deeds, and all those things that make us an intimate web of friends and family, both known and unknown. Close and distant. Here and there. Young and old. Stranger and companion. It's being here and typing in the abyss that helps me know that the sun will set before it rises.
It has to rise.