Sadly, in the midst of all the stormy NY weather recently, a larger storm was unfolding closer to our home and hearts for the past couple of months. My brother-in-law, Jim, who was just 46 years-old had been battling a very aggressive type of cancer. And on Saturday, November 10th, his pain and suffering ended. He will be forever in our thoughts, and in our hearts.
Anyone who knew Jim well may have spent the past few days feeling especially disoriented. Sometimes when the world doesn’t make sense, parts of my mind seem to float away.
I’ve lived in NY my whole life, having driven nearly a million miles around these streets. But twice since Saturday I’ve made wrong turns going to a local drugstore and to my office as well. I’ve gone back to my dresser drawer for socks when I was already wearing them. I’ve poured milk in my iced tea. And I nearly fed our feline pet her dinner by pouring out the last half of my bag of pretzels into her cat bowl.
While my mind was silently working in overdrive behind the scenes trying to find answers my body was slowed to a crawl, unable to see far ahead and I felt as though I were in an endless haze.
At the end of this search for reason, when the software in my head was finished scanning every single file on record, the sum of all my brainpower came back with no responses on death.
Instead, this hunt for answers came back with memories. It came back with peace. It came back with open arms. It came back tall, strong and kind-hearted. It came back with a hearty chuckle, a big smile and a long held laugh. It came back with a marvelous sense of humor. It came back with a request for a roast beef sandwich delivery to North Shore Hospital. It came back singing and playing the guitar. It came back with paintings more colorful than nature and bigger than their canvasses. It came back with stickball, basketball and NY baseball. It came back with hugs. It came back with tears. It came back with sorrow. It came back with joy. It came back with a world class temperament. It came back as a beloved husband, a devoted father, an adoring son, a fervent brother, a fondest friend and a valiant, courageous person. It came back with thumbs up. It came back in a good place. It came back down-to-earth. It came back with life.
And it all came back with love from Jim.