Tuesday, March 3, 2009

One Year Has Passed - Jon Wind 1952- 2008

This time last year I had no idea that the next morning my brother, Jon would die. But my actions over the last year have been profoundly affected by his sudden death from a heart attack at 56. Reading in his autopsy report that he had, unknown to all of us, emphysema (along with severe heart disease and coronary artery disease) somehow helped me to begin to feel the same relief for him that I had for my Dad's passing just a few months before. To be sure, my Dad had years of physical and mental limitations that thwarted joy and peace. He also had almost thirty two years more life on this Earth. But Jon's normal life would have been rescripted as diagnosis bumped up against daily life. Now I don't assume longevity to be a "be all and not end all" of goals. What I do see is that many of the things that hold me back are "luxuries" I can no longer afford. My brother was not able to make changes. He was not going to stop smoking, change his diet or see himself as capable as he was.
I admit it's weird, but I have this vision of getting to the pearly gates where I am seated in a reclining chair and made really comfy. There is a super TV and a DVD is inserted which starts right into the main piece without the usual long drawn out boring promotions. Quickly I realize that the theme is what my life could have been had I only pushed a little harder against my fears and insecurities.
That image has helped me to ride out the period of discomfort that always (for me) happens when I redefine myself. Discomfort is not pleaseant but it is a small price to pay for growth.
Blog On!


Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

I think that when we grow and learn something as a result of a loss, then the loss is not in vain. All loss has a lesson in it. I'm glad you're open to that. And I am very, very sorry that you lost someone so much before what we think of as his time.

Unknown said...

Leslie... Your brother's passing has left a big hole in my life and the lives of all his friends here in Vermont. I feel very lucky, though, because although I no longer have my friend, his passing has brought me three new friends in You, Rick and Merry. I've been very weepy today, but the short chat with you has brightened my day and my heart. Thank you for that.

Unknown said...

As you know, Leslie, I also lost a beloved brother and my brother could not have been more different than yours. He was a strong, rugged, outdoorsman who grew his own food, built the house he and his wife and children lived in, made his own bread and wine and canned the vegetables he raised in his garden. He was the picture of health --- except he got cancer and he died at 50. He never smoked or abused his body in any way --- and still he died too young.

The simple truth is, we have no buffers against the inevitable. We can do everything right and get hit by a bus. I'm a person who has taken chances all my life. I've lived recklessly, smoked (though I quit 8 years ago), drank, did ll kinds of dumb things. Twice I packed everything I owned in my car and drove over 1000 miles to a place I'd never been to and started a new life. Am I better off for it? I have no idea.

We do the best we can with what we have to work with --- some of us get to lead long lives and some of us don't. But flagellating yourself for what you might have done is pointless. You know what I think, when you get to the Pearly Gates nobody is going to torture you with what you failed to do --- they're going to honor you for what you have done. Regardless of how little or how much time you had to do it in. Whatever Jon may or may not have been, he was someone whom people like Linda Jean loved. And so did you. And that means he lived a good life.

Cathy K said...

I was especially touched by your entry about your brother Jon.Losing a sibling,especially at a relatively young age just doesn't make sense.

I lost my sister Susie in 1991 just six months after my dad's passing.

You expect your parents to die but you figure your siblings will be around forever

incyncdesigns said...

thinking of you today
happy birthday on the 20th
we have known each other 29 years and that is a long time! lots of life moments lived and shared. some fun and crazy and some sad and painful. i was saddened to hear of jon's death and of your fathers, also. i understand what you meant about the gift your father gave you...my mother gave me a similar gift after her death in a dream that was much too real to be a dream. some people think those events are visions. at any rate she freed me of the pain and resentment of the past and i have to say that i am content today and have been so for many years. i always wanted "happiness" but find that contentment is really what i meant.
have a content and great day1
florida cyndy