Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Moments of sorrow

Mixed in with the moments of intense joy I've had lately, there have been moments of grief. We're almost to the first anniversary of my brother's death, June 11. I've called him "Toby" in Blog entries. His real name was Nate.

If he were alive, he'd be preparing to celebrate his 49th birthday Saturday.

I know he's safe and well now. I grieve that his life was short and unhappy, particularly in the last year or so, when he was so sick, and so bitter. Nate was in the throes of death by alcoholism that last year.

I have a driver's license he'd had made a few months before his died. He'd somehow obtained one about a year earlier -- he hadn't had one for years -- lost it, and had this duplicate made.

He shouldn't have been driving, period.

He looks so sick in that driver's license picture: jaundiced, his systems failing, and with that glazed, burnt-out look of a junky or skid-row alcoholic. It makes me weep to look at it.

I found a photo Nate sent me about 20 years ago, when he lived in Washington state. It was, I'm guessing, one of the happier periods of his life. Someone shot his picture through an open door onto the small porch of his little apartment, where Nate sat in a rocking chair, grinning into the lens.

Who took the photo? I don't know. I've often wondered if there were someone there he loved, who loved him. My secretive brother never talked about any relationships.

That's the photo I have in the living room now.

Brother, you live in our Father's house
misfit no more.
Healed and healthy,
Enfolded in love.
Your clear, wide eyes see eternity.
You've shed the old labels
with the old skin.
You know you're apple of God's eye
Gay or straight matters no more.
You're the beloved.

--UnSaintly Pat

1 comment:

Pisco Sours said...

"Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'meh raba." May the great Name of God be exalted and glorified....

I will pray for Nate's soul today. Peace be with you too, Pat.