Tuesday, December 7

Michael's Sister

Many of you probably know that I am one of 8 kids.  The 4 youngest (including myself) were adopted, and the 4 oldest were “homemade.”  I’m #7, the youngest girl. The baby of the family, Michael, was 2 years younger than I am. 

Michael passed away 10 years ago today, December 7.  It’s weird how the day of someone’s death –someone closed to you, I mean – can be such a vivid memory.  Bruce and I had gotten dressed up, went to a nice dinner, and then to the High Point Theatre to see “A Christmas Carol.”  And when we got home, there was a message on our answering machine with the news. 

Bah humbug indeed!

Michael was only 24 when he died.  He had been born with muscular dystrophy, a disorder that involves muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue that gets worse over time.  In Michael’s case, he had Emery-Driefuss muscular dystrophy which mainly affected the muscles used for movement and the heart muscles.  At one point, when he was about 18, doctors discovered that the valves in Michael’s heart weren’t working properly and they suggested putting in a pacemaker.  But Michael wouldn’t hear of it – I remember him saying, “When it’s my time to go, I’m ready.” 

I learned alot by being Michael's sister.  I learned things about life, about love, about family - but most of all, I learned things about myself.  And I think that if he knew all of the things I now realize I learned from him, Michael would be pleased by his legacy.  I can't wait to tell him some day.

I definitely won’t pretend that Michael and I always got along.  When we were little, I definitely did not like him.  Ha ha.  Of course not!  I resented him and the attention he got.  But as with most things, with age our relationship got better.  It’s interesting how over time, a lot of the “bad” stuff gets washed away from memory.  Maybe God allows this so that we can heal.  Or maybe it doesn’t just wash away – maybe we absorb it and learn from it.  Maybe it’s both of those things.

In any case, today I am remembering my brother, and how I miss him. 
This photo is pretty old (My nephew is a sophomore in college now). 
But Michael's silly face is a reminder of how much he loved to joke and kabitz with everyone.  :) 

1 comment:

Britt said...

What a beautiful post, Aunt Beck. Brings tears to my eyes...but then I can't help but smile seeing him in the sunglasses, relishing going "cruising." :)

P.S. I'm really really happy I get to see you in just a few weeks!!!!