Saturday, February 28, 2015
For the past 5-6 years, since I relocated to America, my brother and I have spoken by telephone nearly every single day, sometimes multiple times in a day, other times, just briefly to check in on each other. Sometimes we would skip a day or two because one or other of us was busy or my phone refused to work (a cantankerous ongoing problem). We left each other messages when we missed each other. Prior to this, the decades I lived and worked overseas, we kept in touch, just not as often due to the ridiculous cost of overseas calls at that time. Often I was working at sea and unreachable. I am blessed to have a stack of handwritten letters from him during those years.
Wednesday morning, I realized he had not returned my last call, so I decided to call him again.
Someone else answered his cell phone.
My heart skipped a beep. I was speechless and confused. What had I done to reach the wrong person?
The awful truth sunk in as the distant words floated around my baffled brain.
My brother was dead.
The last few years we both suffered from complicated medical situations. He was pursuing standard American medical treatments while I chose the lonely path of alternatives. We just always assumed I would be the first to go.
The last few years of his life were spent bouncing around to numerous medical appointments plus being tethered to a painful dialysis machine. While the machine itself is not painful, the needles and catheters rendered his arms a bloody bruised debilitating mess. He suffered through diabetes, renal failure, hepatitis and neuropathy with numerous complications from all.
His spirit remained incredibly strong in spite of the chronic pain and we buoyed each other constantly. Our conversations were rarely about medical issues but rather lofty ideas. My brother could astound me with volumes of information he had gleaned from the thousands upon thousands of books he devoured throughout his life with an insatiable appetite.
He was extremely fond of his job at GE but was sadly forced into retiring due to changes in health. He remained very busy but as his eyes failed, he had to give up his beloved books. He installed satellite TV and took up watching numerous educational shows to keep his mind active.
Rest In Peace
Born in 57, Died at 57, on the 56th day of this year, a month shy of his 58th birthday.
His Indian name was Bliss Mountain
This is one of my favorite pictures of Donovan. He was fulfilling a passionate dream of his and I was there with him. He wanted this glorious moment captured on film.
Ironically my brother hated having his picture taken and often downright refused saying the picture would steal his soul. Sometimes he would relent or I would catch one of him while he didn't notice. Once in awhile he would eagerly agree to a snapshot and happily pose. I am blessed to have numerous pictures of him in spite this peculiarity.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.