As many of you know that have been following me for awhile my oldest brother, Bill has been in ill health for several years. He has been on borrowed time. But the end is near for him -- the past week has seen a heart attack and two strokes among other things. He left the hospital today to go home to be with loved ones for his final few days. We have known this day was coming -- but quite truthfully I thought this "time" had come many times before. Now that it is finally here we know that he will be in a better place shortly and in no pain. He is surrounded by his family.
Bill is 13 years older than me so I didn't real know him as a brother. When I was in kindergarten he was in college. I vaguely remember going to some basketball and football games he played in high school. I also remember some times when he baby sat for me and my other brother (who is only two years older than me). After my brother graduated from college he lived away from home, then married. So, I really never spent a lot of time with him until we were both adults. When I was out on my own, we only lived a few miles apart and worked in office buildings across the street from each other. For about a year, every morning we would meet at 5am and play nine holes of golf together. It still gave us time to go to our respective houses and change and get ready for work. It is kind of strange that that is what I remember the most. I can't remember who won the golf games, but I would be surprised if I won any of them since he played golf on his college team. I am just grateful he shared that time with me.
He has requested no funeral, no memorial service and doesn't even want an obituary in the paper. That is they way he wants it so that is the way it will be. He will leave his wife of 45 years, three children, eight grandchildren and his first great grandchild is due in another month
Since Bill was so much older than Tom and I he was much different than we were. He was partly raised by my grandparents who lived next door to us. We always joked that he came from a different gene pool than we did. There are a lot of funny stories to share, but those will be saved for another time. He will be missed.
I was diagnosed with Early On Set Alzheimer's when I was 46 years old. I am now 61 and working in Advocacy to help fight this disease. I speak on a local and national level about dealing with Alzheimer's while living it. Hopefully, my perspective can and will help others.