Missing my best friend.

by Sue Cross
(Port Royal, SC)

I have 3 older brothers. Rob and I were the closest and it's always been that way. He called me every single day. He hadn't been feeling well. He thought he had bronchitis. After 2 rounds of antibiotics in a month and getting worse he got scared. I asked him if he'd go to the hospital if I went with him. He said he would and it meant a lot. So...Sunday morning Oct 23, 2011 at 06:00 we met at the local hospital. Four hours later I stood next to him as we heard the diagnosis. Lung cancer with mets to the liver and adrenal gland and two huge lymph nodes compressing his trachea - hence his severe shortness of breath. They admitted him. I visited him daily for hours at a time. Wed came, my birthday. Everyone forgot but it's ok. I wanted to forget the entire week. Our parents, my adult children, the rest of the family, we were all in shock. They put a bronchial stent in. Finally he could breathe. Thursday morning back to square one. The stent moved and didn't work. Rob could barely breathe. Nothing they could do. I called my good friend who is a social worker for a local hospice. She came. Rob sat and the tears just flowed. They flowed for all of us. He kept saying he was sorry for all his "wrongs". In a matter of 20 minutes his life changed irreversibly. He couldn't go to his home and live alone, he had to quit work, and he had to make final decisions. He went home with our parents.

I went home to sleep, or at least try to sleep. Friday morning I got a call from Dad. They asked me to come quickly. They almost lost him. I packed and drove as fast as I could. I'd promised him I'd be beside him till the end. I got there. I sat on the floor at his feet, my head in his lap and just cried. He couldn't talk. Hospice came and so did the roxinol. His air hunger was alleviated. We stayed up with him all night. Our other brother flew in and the other one stuck in a snowstorm in the north. Saturday came....day 7. A long day for us all having been up for so long. Talking, loving, medicating and praying. People in and out bringing meals, cleaning up, offerring prayer. Saturday 7:15 p.m. Rob took his last breath surrounded by all his family. We held him and cried together as a family. I lost my best friend.

The song, "I give you peace" by echoing angels says it all

I see you lying their whispering prayers
I hear you breathing out hollowed be thy name
Holding out my hand catching every tear
Oh my child I'll never leave your side

I will give you peace when the walls come crashing down
I will give you peace through the night
When you've had all you can take can't face another day
I'll give you peace, I'll give you peace

For such a time as this I have you here
Chosen for the lost to show I'm near
Through your brokenness my glory shines
And through your frailty my strength will rise


Your beautiful, your beautiful
Perfect in my sight
Righteousness adorns you my bride
Your beautiful, so beautiful

It's been 3 months. I still grieve. I still yearn for my brother. I know he's in heaven but I want him here. I know he's not suffering but I want him here. My Dad will talk with me about it whenever I want. My Mom won't discuss it. The grief is mine and I embrace it. Somedays are great and several in a row. Then my mind goes back to it all. It's better. But...Rob I LOVE YOU AND WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU DEEPLY. I love you, Susie

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