I thought I would attempt a more emotional story, let me know how it’s come across.
What’s one suppose to do in a desperate case of loss.
Growing up, my brother was an icon for me. Ever since Primary School I had felt a longing to be like him. He held his ground while also knowing when to fall, as though he could naturally find a balance between the two. It was mesmerising to see such a strong character with no fault at all. I used to try annoy him to see how he would react but I found myself looking up to him even more after he would see my angle, solving things with a game of football soon to realise I was just ‘Unsure of myself’ which in truth I was, my Mother and Father looked at my brother Sam as an ideal son. Then there was me. The other one.
As I grew up, Sam did too, he was beginning to give me his responsibilities around the house which I presumed would make me more like him but he just sneakily didn’t want to do them. All the lame things like washing up or buying the groceries. Sounds even worse looking back on it now.
Sam took me the bars and pubs too, showing me around as though it would soon be my area like so many called it his. Everybody seemed to know him and I was ‘Sams brother’. To most people it makes me look weak and the lesser of us two. However, I saw it as relatable to Sam which to me is the greatest compliment I could receive.
It wasnt till Sam had turned 26 that things seemed to switch up alittle bit.
Sam was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The Doctor said it was rare in people below the age of 40 but the inhaling of toxins could have caused such an event to occur.
Even while the family raised awareness and money to go towards Cancer treatments and research, Sam was a big part of it. Not letting it effect him to the point of stopping. This showed how strong he was. It also showed how weak I was. Ever since I was little I had looked up to Sam like people looked up to David Beckham or whoever people my age were into. I believed Sam was different though to these people; although they were famous, there was something about them that wasn’t quite right whereas Sam was the most genuine person I knew.
After two years, the chemotherapy seemed to working with the Doctor saying Sams body was showing encouraging signs. This was a symbol of hope for much of our family, even bringing Mother to a set of tears acknowledging Sam could be a lucky one. It already looked more bright after Sam was already in the category to live longer than a year. 1 in 3 people diagnosed are said to die within a year and 1 in 20 in ten years.
Some reason this seemed different, as though the survival chances had multiplied, maybe due to Sam being such a figure of respect and shear power, not even letting cancer get him down.
After three years, Sam looked thinner and weaker, claiming he now “Lets me win.” Yet, along with a persistent cough, it didn’t look brilliant. Sam continued to help out round the neighbourhood like he used to. Offering to mow lawns of the elderly for free. I helped him out on most of the gardens since he seemed to be making more stops which he called “Pit stops to admire the view.” Full well knowing I could see the suffering in his eyes when we drew contact.
I couldn’t help but smile at Sam though, he maintained a strong character through all of it until one afternoon when he said he wanted to speak to me. He had just mowed a neighbours grass before returning home with a heavier cough, struggling into the living room chair.
“It’s okay not to be the old you Sam.” I said to him.
“I’m still the same me, just been through a moment of struggle.” He replied. “I know my bodies not great and it keeps me up in agony and pain but I know when to smile. Smiling can cure the greatest of days weaknesses. ”
I didn’t know how to reply but before I could I burst into tears.
“Don’t the fear of the unknown take you down little man. Remember when we were young and we played football on the green? Cancers abit like when you kept kicking the balls into that unknown garden behind the fence. However, rather than getting the balls back, we saw there were two trees perfect for a game of football? We stayed there and made the most of what we had. Rather than figuring out why we were there or why we didn’t just bring the balls back over, we enjoyed what we had.”
Sam died during the night.
I went back to the place he was talking about, with the goalposts from trees. It was still there. An unused garden behind a house no-one knew how to reach. Probably down some one way street somewhere. Some kids had obviously been here, there was a swing tied onto the branches. I sat down.
Thinking about Sam. Thinking about myself and what I was going to do. The family were worse than me since he was the golden boy. Yet I could see why, he was everything anyone could want. Always the worse that are affected. Guess you’ve got to see it as that maybe the good ones go first because God or some greater being has something install for them, they’ve already earned their place.
Guess I needed a bit of work on myself then.