Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rinse and Repeat.....

Ms. G does not like July. I didn't post another tribute to my father this year because that memory, once written, is now neat and tidy and well maintained. But...this one still has some split ends and damage that need a little extra care and conditioning.  This is a Re-Post of my tribute to my eldest brother from 2010.  I finish the countdown. Four days left in July. The 31st is a day for goodbye. Perhaps August will improve my disposition.
 For now, once again ....

I'm Gonna Wash July Right Out Of My Hair!

Fly Bye Originally posted July 29 2010.

I was 5. It was so early it was still dark and I was awakened quietly to say goodbye. Groggy, I stood on the bed and reached my arms out. All was darkness. I could not see you, but I felt the rough fabric of the uniform beneath my hands and the warmth of your cheek. Your hair no longer sweeping my face as you bent for a kiss but shorn beneath a cap. The low rumble of your voice beside my ear....I love you, goodbye. I carried this in my minds eye waiting patiently as was wished, until you were safely home.

I was 9. Suddenly you were Home! And you picked up where you left off.....being my hero.

I was 24. I fully understood the problem and was saddened and helpless about it. I was used to the drinking but now sometimes your eyes were lifeless. I stop by. You are laying on the couch. You are cold and clammy and sweating profusely. I say "whatever you are doing stop it". Please. Just stop. I kiss you goodbye. Whatever it was seemed to stop and the you that had a soul came back but the drinking never stopped. The damage to your body from the years of alcohol was done.

I was 30. When the call comes in the middle of the night, just by chance I am not at home but out of town and actually closer to where you are than the rest of us. I would get there first, I would be there. As we drove through the dark I prayed, in time, in time, please.

As I was walking in a cloud of unreality, through the front doors, you were leaving. They would not let me go farther. I stood there, waiting patiently as they wished. And moments later they said, "we're sorry, we're sorry, no."

And you were alone. I could not reach could this be?

As we drove away that morning the sun was rising over fields of green going gold. The light rising in tandem with our forward journey. I saw the rays light up their wings like sparks shooting upward as they circled and soared and I smiled. At that moment I heard the first notes of the song burst through to me and I reached to turn the knob up until it engulfed me, carrying me with it for awhile and opened the window to fly along through the morning because I knew...

God had allowed you to pause and soar just long enough

To say goodbye.

Google Video

The lyrics to this song, which I have included at the bottom of the page, were so appropriate to my brother and the situation that I am still stunned by this experience and it is the single most painful but powerfully spiritual moment of my life.

my brother
There for me
All of the things
big brothers should be
Johnny my brother
Ten feet tall
Or so it seemed
when I was small
Dec 1954-July 1996

My brother loved nature and had great admiration for birds. He was very quiet and none of us ever really understood why he was the way he was. He was different. He did not seem cut out for this world.
He made terrible mistakes. He was an alcoholic from his teens.

We loved him.

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Learning To Fly
By David Gilmore for Pink Floyd

Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast, how
Can I escape this irresistible grasp?
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted Just an earth-bound misfit, I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings, I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to guide my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone
A soul in tension that's learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I
Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night
There's no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, A state of bliss
Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I 


  1. PS: The video wouldn't play for me.

  2. Sending comfort miles away. Love you.

  3. Well, I can't imagine how hard this month must be for you. I lost my Dad July 12 three years ago, and I try not to think about his death date too much. I am almost speechless after reading your post about your dad, mine was so similar, such a bad heart in such a good man, and the part about not hearing what he was really saying at the end - that will always be a thorn in my heart, wishing we could have had a better conversation, for both our sakes.
    And although he still lives, in his sad way, my alcoholic misfit brother makes my heart heavy. He had always planned on dying before mom and dad, but he's still here, and so very alone. Anyway. I don't know what to say except to offer my thoughts of sympathy and at least a little understanding.
    Funny, I've listened to that Pink Floyd song countless times, but I never really heard it until now. Thank you for that.
    August is just days away.

  4. So sorry about this loss in your life. Very sad to hear of a life cut short in that way.

  5. So touching. I find writing about hard memories can help manage them sometimes, I hope this helped you.

  6. Ms.A Thanks: ) Sometimes it takes a little while to load properly.

    Nicole: I'm feeling it, Love you back : )

    Mel: Old fashioned Dads: ) Always had to put up a strong front. I'm sorry to hear your brother is doing this to himself too. So many families seem to have that loved one that is lost. I had always liked the song but when this happened I had the most wonderful feeling. It was the most bereft I had ever felt but I suddenly knew he was released from whatever it was that had been weighing him down all his life.

    DG: It was sad but he did the harm to his body himself. His alcoholism caused a great deal of damage in his life and nothing worked to stop it.

    Theresa: Yes, that is one of the reasons I write them down. It gives everything wandering around in my head a home : )

  7. It is difficult to watch someone on a self destructive path. Hugs to you.

  8. I can also relate to this story. Like others I have heard this song thousands of times but never really understood it until now. Peace to you.


  9. Anonymous LH: I think it really is a powerful song. Peace to You as well. And thankyou for visiting : )


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