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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Eye Cooper

The Love of a Brother

The love of a brother is a special kind of love. A love where one day you’re fighting and the next day you’re having a fun time doing something together.

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot in common except for family. He liked to smoke. I hated the stench of cigarettes. He liked to watch wrestling. I loathed it. If he was watching wrestling, I’d get the vacuum out and start cleaning the carpets in the living room where the television was just to bug him. And it worked quite well because we had a few fights.

Admittedly, some of those altercations were all on me.

But there were sweet moments, too. Brothers are good protectors for little sisters.

One memory I’ll never forget is of him chasing someone (who was up to no good) up the street wearing nothing but his underwear. He protected my sister that night and may have saved her life. Thank goodness he was brave enough to take action and protect her.

Another precious memory of my brother was one Christmas when he had his first job, he bought us all gifts. Christmas was not the same at our house as it is for most folks celebrating Christmas. So, a gift from my older brother was a surprise and special. He must have felt really good handing out those presents he bought with his hard-earned money. Probably washing dishes at the Y.

As adults, we still didn’t have much in common except for family. Our lives went in completely different directions. I moved away, and he stayed home. But distance never lessens the love we have for someone.

Even though our visits were few and far between as we grew older, I still loved him.

With a deep love reserved for someone who always gobbled up the fried chicken before I could get seconds. Or ate the brand name breakfast cereal before I woke up, leaving me to eat generic brand puffed wheat with no sugar. That special kind of love we have for a brother.

Most recently, he was a huge help, along with other siblings living nearby, with my parents as they aged. He helped in ways I never could have living out of state and for that I’m deeply grateful.

Seeing him in the hospital right before he passed was difficult. He tried to speak but had a hard time getting the words he wanted to say out of his mouth. But I understood some of what he said, and he made sure we knew he loved us.

He had a heart of gold even though he had a lot of hard times in life. I wish things had gone better for him. If I’m honest, I really didn’t want to write about him because I didn’t want to cry.

Deep love causes deep grief. It makes us feel the loss of the one we will no longer see in life.

But we will see each other again in a better place. A place with no smoking and no wrestling, I hope. I’m unsure about fried chicken, but surely there are no sugarless bowls of puffed wheat to eat.

Until we meet again.

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J.D. Wininger
J.D. Wininger
2023년 11월 09일

Ms. Melinda. I wanted to share this with you ma'am, and I pray it brings some comfort for your grieving. Grief takes what time it does, but remember that it won't always be high tide and I think you're already starting to have some low tide moments. For that, I am grateful for answered prayers dear friend.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift unflinging…

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