My brother Tim
(Horn Lake MS)
THis is my Dad (left) and Tim (right) out duck hunting.
My brother Tim recently passed away. We are 3 ½ years apart in age with me being older. I can remember the day my Mom and Dad brought him home from the hospital like it was yesterday. They come into the house and he was asleep. My Dad sat down on the couch holding him and had me climb up in his lap. We held him together. From that moment on he held my heart in his hands.
We were always close. My Dad has three brothers and my Mom is an only child so neither believed in siblings fighting. We just weren’t allowed to fight, argue or have a cross word with each other. When we were young (9 and 5 ½) we shared a bedroom. His twin bed was by the closet door and mine was just a few feet away on the other side of the bedroom door – it was a tiny room. At night I would start telling him about the monsters in the closet. He would get scared. Eventually he would stand up on his bed and jump up and down and then take a flying leap. He would always land on my bed and then crawl in bed behind me – between me and the wall. That way he was safe because his big sister wouldn’t let the monsters get him.
We moved one day into a house where we were going to each have our own rooms. I told him, “ You are not allowed in MY ROOM. You have to STAY OUT!!!!” He cried the whole time we moved. When my Mom asked him why he was crying he said, “Because I’ll never see Kim again when we move because I can’t come into her room.” Needless to say… that didn’t happen. He was always allowed in my room and vice versa.
We stayed close our whole lives and promised to always be there for each other. We even made a pack that as long as one of us had a place to live, so did the other; as long as one of us had food to eat, so did the other; as long as one of us had a car, so did the other. And that’s how we always were – a team.
About 7 years ago Tim contracted Antibiotic resistant staph infection. This left him in a coma and in the hospital. He was in a coma for about 6 months. Finally they found a combination that worked and he started getting better. However, he was left in a wheelchair and completely unable to do anything for himself. My Mom and I worked with him, got him therapy and eventually took him home. Since I worked everyday my Mom was his caregiver. My Dad had been away and when he returned he helped get Tim “back to normal”. Life was rough for him, but he never gave up. He would gain weight because of the meds and then work hard working out to loose it all. He was amazing. Never once did He and I stop laughing or talking.
At the beginning of this year he was in the hospital again – he was almost constantly in and out of the hospital. He had developed heart issues and gained weight, he was weak and not eating. Always being the pushy older sister, I never gave up. I took him meals. My husband and I would make trips to the hospital on Saturdays with Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits just for him. We pushed and tried everything to get him better.
Finally the doctors told my parents that he needed a very high risk and specialized heart surgery and that they couldn’t do it. They sent us searching the country for a doctor that could do this and would take him on as a patient. We talked to all our friends and family and their friends and families trying to find someone. The doctors who had been treating him locally decided that as a stop gap measure they were going to put a pacemaker in to help with his heart rhythm.
The night before his surgery he took a turn for the worse and they put him in ICU. We rushed to the hospital. When we got there he was sitting in the bed smiling and laughing and cutting up like always. My husband and I were scheduled to leave the next morning to go visit our grandson for his first birthday. Tim said “GO. You only have one first birthday and you should be there for his.” That was Tim, always thinking of others. I told him “I love you.” And gave him a big kiss and a hug. We left and drove 8 hours to see our grandson.
The next morning my Dad called us at the hotel and told us that Tim had gone into surgery and passed away. My parents had to deal with that terrible day without me. My husband and I left immediately and headed home. I feel so guilty for not being there that last morning. I know I got to say goodbye the night before but still… I wasn’t there.
We cremated him. But everyday I think of a funny story or something that happened and I start crying all over again. I miss him. I want him back, but I know he’s better off in heaven. Things happen in my day and I think, “I need to tell Tim he will get a kick outta this.” Then I remember he’s not here and I cry.