Sunday, June 08, 2008


My Oldest Brother, June 6,08

My Brother

I was raised with three brothers and 3 sisters. But today my mind rests on my oldest brother who went into a coma yesterday. He has held the highest position in our family every since our mother passed away back on May 10th, 1995. He has worked very hard trying to keep our family in a close relationship. He was able to do this mostly because we have always looked up to him during our growing up years. We lost my youngest brother back in 1994 and now we know it is just a matter of time before we also lose our eldest brother. Being in a coma, they can no longer feed him as it would only end up filling into his lungs and cause him even more pain. He has suffered for over three years with one stroke after another and has been completely in a wheelchair for over a year, almost two years now. With all the suffering he has gone thru, he still tried hard to smile and always show his loving, considerate , caring ways to everyone he sees. He has never complained, even when we can see how much pain he is sometimes in. The most I have ever heard him say was to his wife asking her to help him. This past year he has talked very little, so we know the last stroke he had before going south for the winter made talking a bit harder for him. He really didn`t want to go to Georgis this past winter, he wanted to stay up north in his huge farmhouse near the rest of his brothers and sisters. But the Dr had told his wife that even the lightest cold could risk his life. So, for that reason my sister-in-law decided they had to spend the winter in a warmer climate away from our terribly cold snowy area.
So, like other winters, they spent the winter in their apartment up over their son`s huge garage. This winter they hired around the clock nurses to help care for him. Yesterday I heard that one of his sons from Jersey was already down there and the rest of his children were on their way to Georgia. So, my sister-in-law will have all her children there with her.

This brother took up mechanical drawing while in high school. I was the only other family member who took up these High School drawing courses. I still find them useful today, but my brother put them to a much better use. After his time in the Navy during World War II, he got a job working at our local lace factory and soon became their head design person for drawing and setting up his designs on the lace machines. After a few years, he decided he wanted to own his own lace factory. He heard of a small lace factory for sale in the state of New Jersey and he not only made atrrangements to buy this factory, but he moved his family to New Jersey. He ran this factory for many years, until a much larger factory became available for sale. With another fellow, he ended up buying this factory and sold the smaller one. Since he was putting the most money into the new factory, he was the head of it. He continued to draw all the designs again for this company. Here is one millionare who never had a penny handed to him. He was and still is ( my mind keeps feeling like I should be saying "he was") a self made millionare. We all watched him working very hard over the years and obtaining the goal he had set for himself. When he retired- or semi-retired, he kept a small percentage and divided the reat of his shares amongst all of his children who had worked with him when they got old enough. He has put most all of his children thru college, one son became a Dr in Georgia and specialized in psyciatry, another is a tree surgion in NJ - who has a good job doing yard beautification, cutting down trees, etc, another became high in a bank and then started her own business in Real Estate, the other 3 sons still work in the lace factory. Today my brother also owns many other things, like a gas station (if he didn`t sell it this past year), houses- they have sold the one where the kids grew up in Jersey, plus sold another one in our area to a cousins daughter, but still owns the camp on the lake, the home where a sister now lives and the one where we all grew up, plus the large farm and the large farmhouse that he had all remodeled and today looks nothing like the farm house where I lived when my twins were born. This farm has been owned by my family for many years and my father grew up on this farm. He also owns Wet Willies Inc. So he has done real good due to being such a hard worker all his life.

I have watched him help many family members keep their homes when times got tough and also helped many friends. I can honestly say that Walt and I are the only family members who do not owe him. I remember many years ago when he loaned Walt a hundred dollars which was paid back 25 dollars each week. When I was giving him the last payment my sister-in-law tried to tell me that we were already paid in full, but I sinsisted we did owe this 25 and I insisted on paying it. I still remember my sister-in-law yelling to my brother saying "Didn`t you tell me that Dot and Walt were all paid up" and his reply " you handled the payments, so if you say they are paid up, then they are". But I told her I kept track of every payment and since I still owed this last payment, they had to take it. I have always taken my bills seriously and never wanted to leave any bill unpaid.

So many memories keep rushing thru my head as I sit here with my thoughts centered on him. Like when I was a teenager and it was so cold out when we would go sliding on the hilly road in the wooded area of the farm. As a child, I had always had leg pain whenever my legs got cold. One day my brother gave me his sailor pants with those thirteen buttons on the front of them. Only older people will remember those 13 button winter Navy pants worn during World War II. They sure worked wonders keeping my legs warmer while sliding. I still own those Navy pants today. Some of my children also wore them to keep warm while playing outside in the cold winter snowy weather here in upstate New York. Another item i still have is a fancy silk scarf and also a nice warm white stole-- both made in his larger factory in Jersey. Then there is the book titled "That`s Why Stories" he bought me when I was a kid. Still have that book also.

Last week they had to put down the last of my brother`s three horses due to a medical problem. One of these horses I think was about 17 years old, and the other two were up there in age. Like my younger brother and myself, he had a great love and respect for horses. First my grandparent had horses on that farm. then an Uncle did, then for a couple years my younger brother lived there and owned a couple horses and two ponies. Last was this older brother with three large horses. Such beautiful horses. I will miss seeing them. I don`t know if anyone has told my brother about his last horse, This brother used to ride horses with another High school friend and I loved it when they showed up at home and would give me a ride. I am 6 years younger than my oldest brother. When I got older I used to go rent horses to ride. I remember one time when my youngest brother (2 yrs younger) and I were riding his horses. He told me the one I was riding was very gentle and never ran very fast. That was why he bought it for his wife to ride. But, he got surprised how fast that horse could run. When he took off ahead of me on a fast run riding his stallian, the mare I was on suddenly took off on a fast gallop and in seconds we were running fast right beside him and his horse. First time he had ever seen the mare take off like that. Maybe it was because his wife always held the reins tight to keep her going slower and I just gave her freedom to run. In seconds we were at the end of the road. Fastest I had ever rode on a horse and I loved it. Maybe the mare sensed my sister-in-laws fear and noticed I didn`t have that fear. Horses are smart. I miss those days and the cycle riding days. Had to give them up years ago when I broke off the tailbone on my spine.

It is now starting to get daylight (6am), so I had to stop and get dressed, but now I am back. I have been up since 3 am thinking of my bro and unable to get back to sleep. I just saw my son-in-law and his brother leaving for the fishing trip with his boat hooked to the back of his truck. They enter a lot of the fishing tournaments as does one of my sons. I can already tell that it will be another hot day today. I put the smaller air conditioner in the kitchen window yesterday. Now I need to put the remaining plants outside so I can move the larger air conditioner into the laundry room window. All winter the table in front of that window held many of my house plants, plus many hang from the ceiling in front of that same window. In the high 80`s yesterday and expecting up in the 90`s today. Just two weeks ago we were having frost and freezing conditions at night, and 40`s -50`s days. Such a rapid change. We wanted it warmer, but would have been nice to have a few weeks in the 70`s before jumping into the 80`s and 90`s. Guess we are never satisfied-- either wishing it would cool off or wishing it would warm up. Guess I`ll go and get things moved around so I can put the large air conditioner into the laundry room window. I have a large cold air register in that room and when I turn on the furnace blower it pulls the cooler air from the air conditioner down into the furnace in the cellar and shoots it back out in all the rooms thru all the hot air registers-- a little like a house air conditioner without the high expence. When we had the newer furnace put in I insisted on having a switch added beside the emergency switch to enable me to turn on the blower from upstairs without having to go down cellar every time. This morning I awoke with a headache and my eyes smarting badly. So, today is going to be another bad day for allergies. Can`t take any allergy meds just yet because first had to take the actonel and wait a half hour before I can eat or drink anything and have to stay in an upright position. But, the eye drops have helped the burning eyes some. Oh, the half hour is up, so I can now bend and can move things in the laundry room and put in the air-conditioner. I need to stay busy or I will have a hard time here -so far from my brother, just waiting for the next phone call. I know he wasn`t in a lot of pain yesterday according to his Dr son and that helps a little. It is now almost 6:30 and I will be posting this a little later when I am back on the computer.

The air-conditioner is finally in the window. At 11:30, the temp is now 86 with an 91 heat index, so it probably will get up to the 90`s F this afternoon. The air content is high and they say it is bad for the elderly and anyone with breathing difficulties.

That was very intersting reading about your brother'

So you keep all the plants in the laundry with the air condition on, to keep them alive ?

You are a very true nature lover dot !
I'm so sorry to hear about your brother going into coma. He sounds like a good, positive person just like my Mom was. It's always so sad when they is absent like that. One can hope that he doesn't feel any pain anyway.

Loved to read about your horse experience.

We've had very hot weather here for weeks now, unusually hot for being so early in the summer, but today we got cooler air again with some rain. I do hope that the sun comes back again though :-)

I am so sorry about your brother Dot.
I know how hard it must be for you.
He sounds like a man who knew what he wanted and went after it.
His success showed with his kindness to others around him.

Its hot as blazes here to and last week I was wrapped in blankets.
I don;t know what is happening any more with the weather or and everything else.

I miss the old seasons when they were all the same.
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