Today is the anniversary of the death of both my brother and my Mom. They died two years apart in 2003 and in 2005. My brother was fairly young; he was 46. His death was unexpected – he actually choked on a hot dog. It made a sort of abstruse sense for his loss to come before my parents. He was a paranoid schizophrenic and totally dependent upon my parents. He lived in a nursing home but Dad would take him cigarettes and snacks, pick him up when he was out and about and he and Mom would go to the nursing home several times a week to visit. We always worried about what would happen after the death of my parents, but Danny’s death in 2003 preceded them and he never had to suffer through their loss.
I miss my brother. I not only miss the brother that I grew up with, but I also miss the brother his illness prevented him from being. We did not have the normal adult relationship of two siblings that grew up together; he was unable to hold a job or have a relationship and naturally, kids were not in the cards for him. He would have moments of lucidity where he would question his life; those were often the hardest moments we shared. In my last visit with Danny, he had just been taken off of a ventilator and was it was difficult for him to talk. I stood by his hospital bed just rambling on about various subjects when he stopped me and rasped out “I love you”. That moment brought me to tears at the time and is a memory that I treasure. I miss you and love you Danno.
Two years later, I was in the hospital again. This time with my Mom. She was non-responsive but that didn’t stop me from talking to her. I feel like I said everything that I needed to say. My Dad was the main caregiver for Mom; she had dementia and needed a good bit of care but I helped as much as possible. While it could have been awkward transitioning into a caregiver for my Mom, she made it seem a natural part of the life process and we were able to laugh about some of the situations. I would have been happy to do it for a much longer period of time just to have her around longer. I miss you and hope you were able to find Danny to share the afterlife………
Daniel Edward Dreier: May 27, 1957 – July 27, 2003
Catharina Anna Margaretha Uyldert Dreier: July 8, 1923 – July 27, 2005