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Brian James

By , New Berlin, WI
Brian James Patsches, my uncle, once my everything, my happiness now my pain and sorrow.

Twelve. That’s the number of years that are filled with memories of you. Twelve. That’s how old I was when you took your last step on to the plane going only one way. For my twelfth birthday, you gave me twelve pennies. Twelve pennies I still have and always will. You may no longer be here but in our minds you always are.

“ Brian has cancer.” These words I refused to believe. But it was true. A conversation like a two year olds vocabulary, lacking many words yet having the intensity of a volcanic eruption. This volcano didn’t spew lava, but rather tears. And these tears didn’t come form a volcano, instead, from my eyes. The tears ran like an Olympic sprinter, so fast that one is unsure if they will ever stop. To feel the droplets of a melting icicle dripping from my eyes made my heart ache as much as shattering glass is loud. I shed as many tears for him as the number of flowers that were sent. These are the tears I cry so many nights.

My name is after his. At times my mother would jokingly say she wouldn’t have named me after him had she know this at the time. Though now I am the athletic trainer who takes pride in their winning athletes. I am proud to be named after a man so amazing. A man who is to me the food and water needed for survival. Sadly, my food and water have run out. Making each day harder to live. I know I must find alternatives for my strength. I cannot give up. I will live my life to the fullest and then some. To make up for what you missed. Like a relay, sometimes you need more that one person to finish.

When you were in the hospital you said, I was the one whose visits you enjoy most. You said I would stare at you funny or be nervous. I would walk in like a well-trained dog in a show ring. But that is what I was. Trained. Trained to not stare because it was you who was to stare and be nervous, unsure if this would be the last time you see me. Those who stare only remind you that the hourglass is now glued to the ground. No longer are you able to flip it back over, just before that last grain falls through. We all knew the sand was falling. We just didn’t know how fast. The last visit I paid you was different. This time your wrist was decorated with one bracelet to many. I read the label quickly. My heart became the chemical reaction in the forth of July fire works. Bursting continuously in every way possible. DNR. Three letters. Do Not Rescue. You had made the choice that if you were to undergo difficulties you no longer wished for doctoral assistance. You were ready to die soon. Like getting ready to jump out of the plain while skydiving. You were preparing you leap from earth.

You were the one white cloud amongst all others as dark as night. Giving me the hope that not everything is bad. You were the one to always comfort me when I need it. You were the glue that held all my pieces together. The raindrop on the windshield flowing a different direction. Letting me know its ok to be different. But I was not that raindrop. I am the only trailing closely behind the other. I don’t want to be different I want to be like you. Breanna. Brian. This name we already share. I will continue to peruse the life you didn’t have because your time was cut short.





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