Pretty much mostly down. The people that imply (or even outright state that I choose depression) can bite me.
Why the hell would anybody choose to feel this?
Last night there was a family gathering to farewell my daughters before they went to South America; one of them is planning to travel on indefinitely and the other will be back in a few months. Our get-together was held at my mother’s house and once I got there,she asked my advice on whether or not she should display a picture in front of my sister-in-law.
The picture (taken by my other brother) showed my terminally ill brother walking down a beach. It was taken from behind and showed his footsteps in wet sand, along the beach and behind his outline.
It detailed his tremendous steroid weight gain, his insistence on a dilapidated hat and a walking stick and it summed out everything over the course of his illness. That he tried to walk in the hope that exercise might help. His obsession with certain objects. His delight in being outside on the beach, even if he couldn’t swim anymore.
I took him for so many of those walks. Every time, it was a struggle to get him into and then out of the car. Hard to manage the short steps to the sand. Even harder to walk upon it. Sometimes we tossed a ball backwards and forwards to try and let his brain relearn those actions. Sometimes he wore a weight plate because he tried to make exercise count as much as possible (we dissuaded him from wearing it a lot of the time because it made him appear as a crazed suicide bomber).
Every time people stared at him because his appearance was so bizarre. He knew and it hurt him but he carried on anyway. I think about all those times I took him out and how hard he tried to fit into a semblance of a normal life.
That picture encapsulates everything that was good and worthwhile about my brother and ever since seeing it, I can’t stop crying.