So it has almost been a year since my brother has past. True to my fashion, and the fact that my family seems to make gloomy holidays of deaths,have not said much in the way of it. It just seems in poor taste. It is however on, my mind increasingly more as the day approaches and knowing I have an impending trip right around that time to the parentals domicile doesn’t help. But like most I have a tradition around the beginning of summer and I will do my best to follow it
And so in this rather colder part of North America called Canada, we celebrate Canada Day at the beginning of July. I am sure there are all these amazing and wonderful reasons and things to do on this day to celebrate the day that Canada became Canada. But I am going to tell you how I celebrate this holiday.
I get drunk
Aaaand I watch the fireworks
Not anything remotely special, but hey it’s the beginning of summer for me and usually the first childless weekend of the year as well. It’s really all I need. Now THIS past summer of good ole 2013 had gotten off to a rocking start when I had my place broken into and money stolen by someone who was being stupid and I should have been able to trust. Lets call him DOUCHEBAG and well DOUCHEBAG got his ass handed to him and he set off one of the worst weekends of my life! Rent was due, but it got stolen and I had no way to replace this money in time to pay rent and I had to worry about school and what my landlord was going to say and on top of that DOUCHEBAG decided to stay drunk for the next few days. I don’t know where he spent all that time, but it sure ass f!ck was not at my house. I still see red when I think about this.
Well needless to say I put to use my ninja skills to save my ass by Canada Day. Which meant on this day I could finally relax and enjoy my weekend. It was only monday at this point.
But WHATEVER, at least I didn’t lose the whole weekend right?
Well…. I’ll never forget this phone call, the urgency of all the messages I suddenly felt and heard the tone from my aunt, that I’m sure she meant to sound comforting, but to me she sounded more like she was trying then was actually sad and I wanted to strangle her as she blurted out “Bryne is dead.”
Bryne being my baby brother, my only brother and someone I had just seen a week before. There I was standing on Jasper and 111 instantly sober and a couple hours away from the fireworks.
Sooooo, what did I do? I got re-drunk and went watched the fireworks.
You can think what you want, but my family was 4 hours away and what else do you when you find out that someone close to you is gone?
I watched those fireworks, went home called all the people you are supposed to when things like this happen, said all the things you’re supposed to say when something like that happens and then made the arrangements to get up to my parents place as soon as possible.
The arrival in the booming metropolian of High Prairie would end up being the longest week of my life starting with the dreaded question from my dad “would you please do your brother’s eulogy?”
It goes without saying, I said yes. I didn’t want to, I loathe public speaking and even more so when there will most definitely be emotion involved, but my biggest concern was “what do I say about a guy who always lived with his parents and literally never did anything?”
My brother was a Paranoid Schizophrenic and was diagnosed with depression, ADD and FAS or FAE whichever you want to call it.
I love my brother, but he did not do anything with himself, no work, no girlfriend, no job, no nothing. He was 26 years old and lived like he was eternally 14. How could I do a summation of his life when there was nothing to celebrate or point out, and do this without causing my father more hurt. SO I drank a bottle of Rum and this is what I said……
“A eulogy is supposed to be a summation of one’s life and all they’ve accomplished. I could do that for my brohter in about three sentences.
So instead I will leave you with how I’ll remember his life.
When I was 8 I met a sweet little boy who wanted nothing more than a friend to play with and a bike to ride. Unknown to me, I had just inherited the brother I would soon realize I could not imagine my life without. We spent every waking moment together. Riding bokes. inventing games and tormenting the neighbour lady; stealing her crab apples or killing her flowers. No matter what it was, Bryne was game for it. Even something as simple as squishing slugs with suction cup arrows. But that was who Bryne was. He loved the simple things, things that most of us would over look.
Whether it was watching moveis with niece and nephews or sitting by the river with me as long as we could to avoid having to go home and wash dishes.
I find it hard to celebrate a life that wasn’t filled with great moments to look back on. But for Bryne, he seemed to have enough good ones to make him happy.
I got to see the look of joy in a little boys eyes at the discovery that he could find his mommy and she didn’t have to be the woman that gave birth to him. And he had the knowledge that no matter how mean others could be, his sister would always plant her foot in their ass. He had 3 little people who thought the world of him and the comforting security that his dad would always stand behind him.
Bryne was strong. Strong enough to endure the stares, rude comments and the mistreatments from others with a smile on his face or just brush it off.
He was good natured, filled with good intentions even if his execution of them was a little off.
He was kind, he never said a cruel word about anyone even if they deserved it. The other day I heard someone say ‘he lived his life the best way he knew how’. People always say this when someone passes. But anyone who knew Bryne would know there really wasn’t a truer statement.
Despite the shitty hand he was dealt, he did the best he could with what he had.”
My brother left this world on Canada Day, I watched the fire works that night and will do it every year on that day until I too leave this world. I have made a lot of really shitty choices in my life that I should never have walked away from, for a very long time. He closed his eyes one night and faded away. Life will never be a fair game, but I will try to not make those shitty choices so much or so often. But hey I am human right? I have 29 years of anecdotal proof that I am not the best decision maker.
But I can promise I will always watch the fireworks with you
Forever teaching you how NOT to live your life
The Late Mz.R.E