To My Brother, Always My Little Brother

This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. Those of      us pulling long sentences know it’s only a matter of time        before we lose loved ones. This is always at the back of my mind. It’s never far.

This week John, one of my younger brothers, came down with pneumonia. Shortly thereafter he was admitted to emergency medical services only to discover that he had a serious heart problem. His infection is major and his situation, as of today 9 November 2020, is critical.

Throughout my long sentence I have steeled myself over the decades for that moment when I might lose a parent. My folks are up in their years, and I’ve written about how time is like the deathly loud ticking of a wall clock in an empty room. An unstoppable march into the future.

Not  once have I thought that I could lose one of my younger brothers. It’s unthinkable and I can’t wrap my mind around such a possibility. Yet it is here.

Although my brothers are grown, they will forever remain my little brothers in my mind. It seems like yesterday we were playing in the sand box or running around the neighborhood as kids. I remember Christmas mornings and birthdays of years past. When we became older I remember highschool and the awkward teen years. Many fond and sometimes difficult memories. I cherish all of them.

Most importantly, and most significant for me, I have remembered how John has stuck by

 me through every day, hour, and minute of my incarceration no matter how difficult it has been. When others turned their backs on me he has always been here. Never once complaining. Never once judging me. I am so unworthy of such kindness.

I love you John and my life has been enriched with you in it.

I have always been the big brother to my brothers. I’ve often felt like a failure in this regard however. It’s one of the struggles of incarceration. I can only move forward and believe in a future that may or may not exist.

I am blessed with several brothers, and to lose a single one of them before my time is a soul crushing thought.

Anyhow, I really can’t go on with this post. I just want to say that I love all of my brothers, and that I have been blessed in this life.

I love you John, and I’m praying for you. No matter what happens I will always be here for you.

—Christopher—

3 thoughts on “To My Brother, Always My Little Brother

  1. Rosina Keihl

    Hi Chris, I haven’t even read the whole letter. I just stopped to pray for your brother and for you. Love you.
    Mom Rosie

  2. Hang in there Chirs ….. all of us out here are praying along with you. As we used to say in Vietnam, there are no atheists in foxholes. Right now we are in the fox hole, with incoming.

  3. Roxanne & Kevin Hanson

    Hey Chris …it has been a long time but we wanted to reach out to you and let you know that this past week and a half you and your family have been in my daily thoughts. We have been praying daily for all of you and although the outcome was not what we hoped for I know that John will be forever with all of you. We now pray for strength as you go through this difficult time and comfort for the tears. “Faith does not take away the pain but gives us the ability to handle the pain”. Sending our love from Minnesota…

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