A Letter to My Brother

Dear Al,   What makes it happen? I am going about my day and then you enter my mind out of nowhere. Suddenly I sit down on the floor, feeling exhausted. I wasn’t tired before so now why? Am I living over that terrible day?

I can see your face crystal clear. The house is quiet. I made myself get out and visit a friend today. I thought the day went rather well, considering it is Sunday. Sundays are still hard for me.

You and I used to climb in the car and just go. You would chatter and I would drive. You wanted to hunt things that you liked. You loved to eat out. Yes, Sundays are very difficult for me still.

I came home and fixed supper. I didn’t care for it at all. I tried a new canned food. asparagus, yuck, terrible. I had tried it once before, fresh and grilled outdoors. I loved it. I had a terrible time swallowing it, but food is limited so I made myself eat it.

I was walking through each room, looking for anything I could pack in a box. The truth is most everything is wrapped and packed now. I am down to what I use every day. I walked into your room and looked at all the boxes, then it happened.

I can still smell you. Your scent lingers in this room. I can picture the air mattress and hear the motor running. I look at the now invisible head of the bed and I know exactly where your head rested. I can see you so clear. I can still hear your voice, pleading me to tell God to take you home.

My gut starts aching, and my eyes feel warm with tears. Oh how I still miss you. If anyone thinks for one second that my moving will aid in me forgetting about my brother, they don’t know me at all. I will take him with me, I will never forget my dear brother. I can see the over head table at your side. I see your cars lined up on your bed as you requested.

I see myself feeding you sherbet. I remember you liked the rainbow sherbet the most and how sad it was for you and me when you could no longer swallow it. I remember how I sneaked baby food into a grown-up bowl and how many times you looked at me. I knew that you wondered what in the world I was feeding you, but you and I pretended that it was better than it smelled and you knew in your heart I had no choice but to feed you this type of food.

I can see you at your funeral. You were dressed in your favorite coca-cola pants and shirt. You were holding your favorite car and you were wearing your favorite coca-cola hat. You weren’t smiling at me though. The flag with the Coca-Cola emblem, which Al Forbes got for you cascades over you.  You looked peaceful and yet I felt you weren’t with me. Maybe you were standing above me, holding me up so I didn’t fall apart. You knew when you left you would leave a huge void in my heart which remains still today.

How many times will I repeat myself dear brother? How many times will the words, I miss you so much bud, I miss you so much, come out of my mouth. Do you hear me? Can you feel my heart busting at the seams out of pain for you not being here with me? I know, I realize you are happy now. MSA is out of your system, but I am selfish, if I could only see you one more time. I hate MSA with a passion. I have written a book about you bud. It is about you and Multiple System Atrophy. I want to share it with others so they won’t be as fearful as I was going through the many stages you went through.

I got up from the floor and stand looking around, tears still forming. I turn the lights off and shut the door once again. I miss you bud. I can’t wait to see you again. Love, sis.








tree trunks 7

19 thoughts on “A Letter to My Brother

  1. Hugs and prayers too – we all feel your pain. And for me Terry, its been over 1 yr and I still say “I miss you Tom” a few times a day. We both have a huge void in our lives don’t we? God bless you.


  2. Terry – My heart aches for you and yes, I feel your pain. You’ve written a beautiful letter straight from the heart and there’s no mistaking that. Plus, I love the Willy Nelson song. I’m a sucker for his songs.
    No matter you go or where life leads you, Al will be in your heart and he’ll join you when you least expect it. He knows all his beautiful, sensitive sister did to make his last days on earth to be as pain free and glorious as possible. My hat’s off to you, Terry.


    • Thanks so much Sheri. I will be sort of relieved when I can read his name or a comment such as yours or see coca cola and not cry immediately. That part seems to be so hard to get past. I can go a few hours now and not think of him, but never an entire day. My heart still aches every time I think of him. I don’t know much, but I do know that his death has changed me totally


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