On Saturday 27th June, 2020 My little brother Pete, who had just turned 41, suffered a bleed on his brain and collapsed at his breakfast table. On Sunday 28th he was officially pronounced gone. Living 2 states away it was Monday before I could get down there to be with family.
The Organ Donor people had spoken to Pete’s partner and others over the weekend and Monday he was to donate. He was then taken in a few hours ahead of schedule due to someone else’s emergency. Pete’s liver was given to somebody that day. From what I am lead to believe, that person may not have seen the end of that day. They definitely wouldn’t be alive today. But now they are. Organ donors save lives!
Due to the state of the world at the moment with restrictions, it was decided that there would be no funeral as such. Just a small family gathering at a lake Pete liked where we scattered his ashes in the water. We also scattered the ashes of Pete’s son Marshall. Marshall passed away last year only 3 weeks old. He was in a hurry to enter this world but his body wasn’t ready. It was also the same lake that Pete’s first daughter from a previous relationship, Kyah, had her ashes scattered back in 2006. Sadly, she came out way too early. Took one breath and was gone.
Pete has had many battles. A few years ago a pacemaker was put in for his heart and earlier this year he had a kidney removed. But he was always a proud and loving dad to his kids Jesse (11) and Addison (9). He would be and should be super proud of the way these 2 kids handled themselves during this time.
Over the last few years, Pete and I had less and less to do with each other. He never returned calls or messages to anybody apparently. But when we did catch up I was always greeted with the biggest bear hug and we’d talk and laugh and muck around as if we caught up every weekend. January this year was no different. We hadn’t been in the same room in over 2 years. I received the usual bear hug but there was a difference. Pete was half the size from the previous time we met. You see, even though I keep referring to him as my Little Brother (7 years my junior), Pete was also about 4 inches taller and at times about 50% heavier than me. He was a big fella. In January, he was about as wide as me. We had an awesome weekend. Watching Pete’s son Jesse playing basketball and just hanging out having a laugh.
The scattering of Pete’s ashes was for 12pm Friday. The same 12pm Friday when the laws changed requiring me to go into quarantine for 2 weeks in Brisbane before I could go home. Some would say that it was pretty bad timing to be all alone. I suppose the fact that I didn’t see Pete that often made it easier. I could stay comfortable in my denial. Knowing that one day, maybe next year, there will be another family catch up for some reason or no reason and we would all be there. Laughing, drinking, joking, picking at each other, retelling the same stories of childhood that all 4 of us brothers had shared many times at multiple other gatherings. Well, 3 of us will. We will add to all our usual bullshit, a raise of a glass and a tear or two as we will have one or two in your memory. I love you Pete, I will miss you. Bye my Little Brother.