Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Missing Lil' Tommy

I’m sitting here at the Tualatin Panera, after my initial appointment with my spinal surgeon.  Current plan:  wait for insurance to approve cortisone shot to spine to see what that will do.  If it doesn’t work, there will be surgery although it doesn’t sound as extensive as my last spinal surgery. Wear and tear, I guess.  

So I’m sitting here, in pain, sipping on a cappuccino, realizing that my brother Tom died almost a year ago.  I decided to make a Find-a-Grave entry for him.  After I wrote a short biography, I sorted through photos.  Find-a-Grave allows only five photos per person. I concentrated on photos that I remembered -either from being present at the time or from sorting through that enormous box of black and white photos that sat in my mother’s closet.  I figure that others in the family can pick their top five.

The result?  I’m sitting in the Panera in Tualatin, Oregon with tears streaming down my face.  I hurt like hell in body and spirit.  God, I miss him.  I miss calling and having that lilting voice ring out, “Wellll, hello there.”  Or his calling me and announcing, “Lil’ Tommy here.”  I miss his stories and his hugs.  I miss knowing he was there to protect me - even in my 60’s.  I just miss him.

So I sit in the Panera wishing I could down some Vicodin for the physical pain and realize that I’m just a mess.  I hurt too much to sit with people who hurt in the hospital.  I hurt too much to put on a positive face and deal with staff and patients.  I just hurt too much today.   I miss the big brother who was always there.  The big brother that could relate to my spinal pain and maybe give me an encouraging word.  

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