Skragnon's Blog

Regret, leave me alone.

July 5, 2010
1 Comment

I got that 5:00 a.m. phone call today.  You know the one I’m talking about.  That call that wakes you from a dead sleep and after you put down the receiver there is no way on the good Lord’s earth you are getting back to dreamland.  By God you are awake now and you have to deal with the situation somehow.

Now my phone call wasn’t one from the police, or a hospital, or even a family member calling about someone who has passed.  Scratch that.  It was definitely that last one.  Except mine was regret calling and kicking in my door to say hello and sit in my heart.  It wanted to share a bit of whiskey and think about old times that never happened, but should have.  Regret had come calling to reminisce about my brother passing away and things left undone.

My brother passed away on a clear morning, much like I was hoping this morning to be, and I find myself directed to other things.  It’ll be five years this coming October.  I was mowing the lawn when that call came in.  My biggest concern was seeing that my brother’s wife got what she needed.  At a certain point some news takes a while to sink into your brain, and even longer for it to hit the soft spots that we all keep hidden from the world.  A week later we buried him with all his due honors.  Honors of love and service.  He had turned 27 in the February of that year.  Two days after we laid him to rest, I turned 31.

Birthdays for me are hard now.  They are usually a pleasant affair, with a rim of sadness ringing the events.  My wife helps at this time with those little things that women are won’t to do for us men.  She keeps my children at bay when she can see I’m off thinking of something other than the celebration around me.  Maybe she helps me along with that next drink to try and make that prior week something to enjoy, rather than fear.  Most often she is there for me in a way that can only be appreciated by a spouse who doesn’t want to be where he is at, and she can see it in the way I breath the very air.

So we come back to my brother.  A man of such personality that after he passed you could almost feel the hole he had left behind.  A man of love and compassion for others, tinged in sweet sarcasm and a wry wit.  At least that’s what I’m told.  My brother and I didn’t talk much the years prior to his passing.  He was overseas serving his country, going to school, or out with friends.  I was going to school, getting married, having kids, insert some platitude about life getting in the way here, but it all means I didn’t make the time.

Oh, those weren’t the only things floating out there.  I’ll admit that.  There was a bunch of other stuff that we both carried on our backs like Atlas carrying the world.  Baggage.  That crap we all pitch up on top of our shoulders every once in a while because for some reason we think we should carry a big suitcase of pain and poor decisions around for a while.  A great bid pile of stupidity that we feel we need to hold on to.  Well, Regret came and told me to put mine down and rest.

My biggest regret is that my brother and I let someone else’s decision come between us, our family’s and our lives.  That caused my brother and I to be estranged.  Big fancy word for not talking to one another.  Outside of family events, we didn’t really talk for nearly 10 years by my reckoning.  It was a colossal waste of time.  Now only filled with a brown swirling mass of lost moments and joy that will never have existed.

So here we sit in the wee hours of the morning.  Me typing away at a computer; you likely, hopefully, sleeping in your bed wistfully dreaming that your July 4th party won’t result in a brutal hangover.  You may fail at that hope because you did everything in your power to make it happen, but I’m doing… nothing.  Nothing to be done now, but regret the things we can’t control and pitch another duffle on top of that pile sitting between my shoulders even though what I really want to do is unload some of that baggage and have less regrets in my life.

I miss you terribly my brother.  Go with God and I’ll see you again when He calls me as He did you.


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