About the same time I am typing this, 7 years ago today, I received a call that mom was in the hospital in a great deal of pain.

I had recently taken over her finances at her request, to the consternation and complaints from some other relatives who claimed they were "helping" her. They were helping themselves to her money. She had me take over as her Power Of Attorney and she began to save each month instead of being penniless. I moved her into a very nice facility where she was delighted to be recognized as intelligent, conversational and funny. She was 88 at that point.

The call was from one of those relatives who had lost their clout, telling me I needn't come up. "It's fine. She just likes to complain." I thought about that for 15 minutes, then dashed home from work, grabbed a bag and drove the 125 miles in about 80 minutes. On the way I called my brother.

He and I had only spoken once in twenty years. There had been a big "thing" and we lost contact on purpose. I told him I was on the way to see her and asked if he thought we would be okay together for her. He said " Yes, of course. Meet you there. What kind of car do you drive?"

She had kept at me for 20 years. She wanted to see us together. She told me he had changed and that I should give him another chance.

I refused to her continual chagrin.

I screeched to a stop, plugged a meter and ran to the emergency room where she was. I was stopped at the curtain. She had succumbed to an aortic aneurysm 5 minutes before I got there. I stepped behind the curtain, seeing relatives. There stood my brother. I could have been there for her last 10 minutes had I not listened to the relative that told me to stay away.

We all stood around looking at her for awhile. Then I moved over to my brother, put my hand on his shoulder and realized we were 20 years and 5 minutes late.

I asked him to step outside. We walked to an area where the ambulances arrived.

" Well...Here we are. I want to tell you something" I said.

"Ok. What?" he replied.

" You are a total fuck up." I informed him.

He looked shocked.

" But so am I." admitting so in what I hoped was perfect timing. We made an agreement then. I made the offer. I wanted to know him still. I had tried not to care about him for 20 years believing that indifference, not hate was the opposite of love. I never was able to pull it off. I always cared but had just said I didn't.

 The agreement was that we would try to rekindle our brotherly love but would never speak again of what pulled us apart.

He agreed that he wanted to try and so for six and a half years we have sent holiday cards and exchanged an occasional email.

Then he moved back to this city a couple of years ago and immediately had two life threatening episodes which required surgeries and hospital stays. He woke up from a surgery to see me standing there again. He stammered that he couldn't believe I was there.

We're getting together once a month now.

We choose a deli style place that serves alcohol. I never drink with clients or in the middle of the day except once per month now I have a drink at lunch with him. He gets there half an hour early, finds a booth and has a warm up drink.Then we both order a Bloody Mary and make each other laugh like we used to do.

Brothers back each other up when it's not reasonable and they fight when it isn't necessary. They put on blinders about each other and can assume they understand when they don't. It's the nature of the beast.


Mom was quick witted and loved a good play on words. I'd call her and read pages of jokes to her when her eyesight had failed. Actually looking back I think her eyesight was good enough but she liked my delivery.

If I have any sense of humor I got it from her and my brother. He can be so funny sometimes it makes my sides hurt.


He had another severe episode about a week ago. It scared me. It sounded like more of what had nearly killed him two summers past.

He sent me an alarming text.

Him: "I'm in an emergency room with a lot of gastro-intestinal bleeding again. Damn"

Me:   "Oh no!  Where?"

Him: "From the butt."



The photo is of my mom in her last week of life, proudly displaying the new haircut I bought her.

Views: 339

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on March 16, 2017 at 10:28am

:) :)

Comment by Rosigami on March 16, 2017 at 10:33am


and it gives me hope.

Comment by koshersalaami on March 16, 2017 at 10:33am

Your mother had sense

My father had two childhood friends from the Bronx, both still around. One didn't talk to his brother for about twenty years. The other said he'd sooner stick his head in a bucket of shit than not talk to his brother. 

He has sense too

Comment by nerd cred on March 16, 2017 at 10:42am

Sweet, even wise.

My youngest brother is still dead to me. But it's ok, I have plenty of brothers.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on March 16, 2017 at 10:43am

kosh    he had eloquence!

Comment by alsoknownas on March 16, 2017 at 10:44am


:-) back.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on March 16, 2017 at 10:44am

i remain stunned and delighted that my sister, brother, and i have been and remain close and supportive

Comment by JMac1949 Today on March 16, 2017 at 10:45am

You don't get to choose who your siblings are.  It boils down to the luck of the draw, and despite our preferences we get drawn into them by blood.  R&L

Comment by nerd cred on March 16, 2017 at 10:47am

And I hope your brother is better and will continue to be. My sister had a colostomy recently. G-I stuff is the worst!

Comment by alsoknownas on March 16, 2017 at 10:48am


 I knew you'd see a connection. Thanks for being here.


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