In April last year, my big brother ‘Spinner’ lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.
I’m still not entirely sure where his nickname came from.
I’ll be damned if I know where the cancer came from.
Thinking back, it wasn’t really a ‘battle’ with cancer. More a tsunami.
Silently gaining momentum. Invisible until it’s too late.
I was sure if we just held on tight enough it would pass.
Too petrified to cry.
Too bewildered to move.
We stood on the shore. And watched.
We had already lost dad and. Well. Life isn’t supposed to be so cruel.
But you can’t fight the ocean.
Amidst a family of gargantuan personalities, eccentrics and the occasional misfit, he was the quiet one. Thoughtful. Intelligent in the extreme.
An odd pair we were.
Me, the hot headed, hopelessly impatient, irredeemable chatterbox.
He, the gentle, quiet, endlessly patient introvert.
Many years between us in age. Moments between us in heart.
We developed our own language over the years. Indecipherable to the outside world.
His actions screamed what his words did not. Generous. Loving. Unwavering.
Hilariously old school.
The definition of selfless.
I introduced him to Facebook and hip-hop.
He taught me about Opera music, software coding and gourmet cooking (less successful on the latter).
More importantly, he taught me to give all you’ve got to help others, then some.
To maintain grace in the face of the ultimate adversity.
Today is the 9th of January. His birthday.
I’m not ready to say all I want to say.
Apparently denial is one of the stages of grief and I’m pretty comfortable parked here for a while longer.
So, I put my game face on, just like my big bro taught me, and go to work.
But tonight, I’ll have a glass of merlot, Spin’s favourite, and look out to sea.
Happy birthday Spin x