Nineteen years has passed since that fateful day! The next few days that followed were a whirlwind and still hard to believe that we somehow got through and moved on in our lives. That was the first time that I ever saw my father, the toughest man that I ever knew, break down to a point of almost never coming back. I remember watching him walking across the funeral parlor with his two brothers beside him and the next thing, my father collapsed and was being carried by his brothers to a chair as my father sobbed, his body shaking terribly. That which does not kill us only makes us stronger, but...why did we have to experience this...as we were starting to live our adult lives!
I watched, one by one, as my brother's friends trickled in and out of the funeral home...glued to the chair along with my brother's friend Jay! We kept saying to each other, that we were waiting for Mike to jump out of the casket and yell....HA HA...it is all a joke! But Mike never did!
One of my brother's friends...Donnie...I saw him across the room, sitting in a chair, his head in his hands...crying...I went to him and laid my hand on his shoulder and asked him if I could do anything for him...Donnie got angry and told me that it was supposed to be him that died, not Mike...he was the one who survived cancer and the brush with death, and now he has to mourn the loss of a man whom he was such great friends with, he told me it was too much for him to handle! My heart ached for all of those who so loved Mike...how could I comfort them all, and myself as well! I think that is when the steel wall went up and my grief was stamped down into the furthest regions of my heart, since I knew that I had to be there for all of them!
Another friend walked into the parlor and said, we used to sneak in here for drinks of water and now....it is real, we are in here for him....
I will talk more about the rest of the funeral in later posts....I am off to visit his grave and spend the day celebrating my brother!
Hugs to all....