He came from around the bathroom door into the room at the nursing home. This small, frail, old man. I didn't recognize him. His face is thin like a cancer patient, his eyes are sunken and his back is stooped. I must be in the wrong room, I thought.
But he saw me and his eyes lighted up and his mouth formed what I supposed was to be a smile but looked more like he was going to say "Oh."
He shuffled over to give me a hug and I fought back the tears.
I was there to help and to visit and to be encouraging. How was I going to do that, I thought? I prayed and God answered.
Through all the changes in his appearance, I still saw my brother. The way he talked, the way he laughed, the way he can get on my last nerve like no one else.
We visited about what we were going to do with the things in his apartment. He seems to have come to terms with that. We must be out my the end of September. The apartment is already rented to someone else.
We talked about moving him to a nursing home closer to his old stomping grounds and closer to his son so it will be easier to visit him. That's when I lost it and sobbed. I cried because I don't live closer and cannot be of much help. I cried for the man that was and for the old man that is. It didn't last long but I needed that release and then I was OK.
I saw him in the evening everyday. We (his son & I ) worked hard all day to clean and straighten the apartment in preparation for the Estate Liquidators to come in. It was a physically and emotionally draining 2 days.
I came home exhausted but at peace. I don't know if I will see him again but he appreciated my visit. Hospice is taking good care of him but he is obviously very ill. He could live longer than expected or he could be gone tomorrow. Either way, I love him and am glad he is my brother.