Yesterday Pete’s biological and chosen family gathered to celebrate his life and to bid him farewell. On a bright and sunny day we shared music and memories, said our goodbyes and wept a little for our loss.
Today I’ve been remembering that Christmas Eve in 1967 when we received the news from Australia that following a car crash he had a severe brain injury, was in a deep coma and was not expected to live the night. I was 3 months into my nurse training and sat crying by the back door hoping that he would die rather than suffer brain damage. He survived, he had brain damage; but what I would have missed had my wish been granted. Much love, he was a great hugger; much laughter, he so enjoyed teasing and mischief; his generosity of spirit and tenacity. Pete’s values remained those of the time his life changed. He was courteous, polite, well mannered and considerate, a true old-fashioned gent.
The grumpy old man who owned the bike shop where Pete got his spares said of him “Always knew what he wanted, could hardly understand a word he said tho’, the only one of my customers I liked”
For a while after he was repatriated home I resented this familiar stranger in my brothers skin. That slowly changed and he became once more, and for nearly 48 more years, one of my adored older brothers.
Be careful what you wish for; it might come true, and you might miss something beautiful …
xxx 🙂 🙂 🙂 xxx