Friday, April 19, 2013

Q – Questions and the Ghosts of Answers

For a long time now I’ve contented myself with the ghost of a brother rather than my real one.

On my last post P – Phone Ghost, I deleted a comment from an anonymous poster because it was a message for me personally.

A chastisement, actually.  And probably deserved.

It reminded me that I have a brother.  On that post, I should have extended the sentence “The last of my immediate family was gone” by adding the words “… with whom I was on speaking terms.”

He and I have been estranged since just a few months after our mother's death in November of 2000.

I won’t go into the why because not a single thing I could say would make either of us look good.

So I kept him out of the post.  It stands as memoir, not autobiography.

For the record, Mark and I have seen each other three times over the last twelve years, and those occasions were fine, though two involved death.  Our sister’s, and just a couple of years ago, our aunt’s.

But we got along.

I will do him justice by saying that he handled all of the arrangements for Deborah, including donating her body to UT Southwest Medical Center or some other research facility in the area, something I know she would have wanted. 

He also set up a lovely memorial service at the church she attended.

He did well.
He currently has her ashes and I would trust them to no one else save our cousin Chandra.  Deborah meant as much to him as to me.

In this photo, taken twenty-something years ago, I'm on the far left.  Mark is on the right.  The gentleman in the center is the late Adam Roarke, acting coach and friend, and one of Quentin Tarantino's favorite actors.

The deleted post went on to say … “Each day you both grow older and I pray each night that this time will end and brothers will reunite as they should.”

Yes, we are getting older.  I’m 55 and he’s 46.  I’ll blink and be 75 to his 66, or maybe one or both of us won’t ride the train that far down the line.

To that, my friend Jodie’s Q post has become a venous hum for me today.  Q – is for Quality of Life

Venous hum in the best of ways.

Mark and I should talk.

The question is how.


  1. It's so hard when families fall apart. Sometimes we can't even remember what it was we were so angry about, but still...we hold the grudge. I haven't spoken to my sister since my father passed away. I don't even know where she is. Why not give it a shot with your brother. It could be he is wishing for the same thing and not knowing how to get started. Nothing ventured nothing gained right?

  2. So sad! I hope the two of you are able to come to terms. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


  3. I don't know. I have nothing to do with my parents, both elderly now, and I'm feeling fine. I don't wish to speak to them or have a relationship, so I won't. People tell me all the time what I should or should not do, and I grow so weary of hearing the phrase "but they're the only parents you have" you know? I don't care. If I cared, I would have taken action. So I'd say to you, do what YOU want to do, and only that. Don't be swayed by what other people say. Honour yourself, how ever that looks.

  4. Wow Rocky. It astounds me that I literally don't think as I write. It just comes out and I post, never truly thinking anyone else will read it let alone consider it. You'll know what the right thing to do is and when. Xx

  5. You'll know the when and how, when it's time. And send me hints when you find out. I have estranged family, as well, so i know it's not easy. And I haven't yet found my right time, place, approach.

    Well written and strong.

  6. it's not easy, some would say just pick up the phone and begin by saying 'hello, it's me' and seeing where it takes you. Others would say go meet him face to face and see what happens. Truth be told there is no right or wrong way. Fear is what keeps us apart, and while you may go 'I'm not afraid' there is a part of you that is very nervous and fearful that it might have been too long. As the add says...'just do it'. Wishing you well.


I love your comments. Please leave them.