The sad, bitter, awful and unwelcome phone call came on Saturday, October 30, 2010. Big brother Jeff was in complete renal failure due to complications from chemo therapy for advanced colon cancer. The chemo therapy was not going to prolong Jeff’s life, but had cut it drastically shorter.
We all dashed as quickly as transcontinental airlines allowed to the hospital in Melbourne, Florida. Big bother Joe and little sister Janette were already there, and little brother John followed a mad, indirect route to finally arrive on Sunday afternoon.
What we found there in that kind institution was a “Sea of Love”.
There was the familiar childhood “sea of love” in our close brother/sister relationships that never change or grow up. A big brother is a big brother all his life. A big sister or little sister keeps that special role and the memories flowing from it.
There was the familiar friend, teammate and schoolmate “sea of love” with Jeff’s wife Judy whom we have known all our lives.
Most obvious and overwhelming was the “sea of love” created by Jeff’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Or was it a sea that flowed from Jeff toward them all? My hope is that all of us feel that kind of love in our final hours.
I pulled out some old photos of Jeff as a child, a young man, a young father - but have been unable to post them. Maybe soon. This is the last photo of the five of us together, after our sister Jane's funeral in 2004. It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago.