Don’t leave important words unsaid

Life is shortI’ve taken this week’s #FridayReflections writing prompt to look at a photograph.  I had cause to look at some old photographs during the week and the memories came flooding back.

We all make choices in our lives – some good and some not so good.

When it comes down to it though, ‘Life is Short, there is no time to leave important words unsaid’.

My brother is 7 years older than I and we were never really close growing up.  He was a shy, quiet boy who didn’t suffer fools gladly and never pushed himself into the spotlight.  My sister and I loved the spotlight and probably drove him crazy with our dancing and singing and living in a large household with two aunts fussing over us.

I remember, a couple of occasions where he proved that he never wanted to stand out.  One was winning a State Fencing Championship.  He didn’t even tell Mum he had won and she found the trophy while cleaning his room.  The other was when he was asked to be School Captain and he turned it down as he ‘just wanted to be one of the boys’.

david and sue15102015

It has been 30 years since I spoke to my brother. Our lives took different directions.  Days turn into months, months into years and you wonder where the time went.

Life got in the way and I can’t really remember why we haven’t talked for all this time.  I’ve thought of him often.  He moved to Thailand to live several years ago and I would hear the occasional update from his daughters.

I thought I had all the time in the world to perhaps mend the rift – I was wrong!

 

Life is Short, there is no time to leave mportant words unsaidClick To Tweet

 

Six weeks ago, my niece called to say my brother was in hospital.  Two of his children were going over to Thailand to bring him home.  He had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

When they arrived he was too ill to travel so his third child flew to Thailand so they could all be with him.

I started sending texts to him, wishing him well and sending my love.  I would send a photo of the ocean, or a flower in my garden or photos of us as children.   His daughter has been showing him photos of my Facebook page which shows my children and family.

My nieces told me that he loved receiving the texts and so did they as it provided the support they needed.  So it became a daily ritual – a text and hug to David and the kids.

Last week, his daughter sent a text to me and said he wanted to phone me.  I had mixed emotions but it was so wonderful to hear his voice – although very weak and with only limited time left.  He couldn’t talk much but at least we had a phone conversation.

I talked about my family and told him I had visited Thailand once but it was so hot and humid when I went. His last piece of advice for me was to visit Thailand at the end of the year.

I will probably not get to speak to my brother again.  I told him 30 years ago I loved him and I feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to tell him once more.

I have always loved my brother and I always will.

Yes there have been many moments over the last few weeks where tears have flowed and the feeling of regret has overwhelmed me.  However, regret is a wasted emotion and waste of our energy.  At the end, all you can say is ‘I love you’ and all else falls away.

Life is such a gift and we don't know when it will be taken from us or our loved ones.Click To Tweet

I’m dedicating this post to a quiet, thoughtful man – my brother!  David William John Roberts 19.4.50 – 18.10.15

His Journey’s Just Begun
Don’t think of him
As gone away-
His journey’s just begun,
Life holds so many facets-
This earth is only one…
Just think of him as resting
From the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing
That we could know today
How nothing but our sadness
Can really pass away.
And think of him as living
In the hearts of those he touched…
For nothing loved is ever lost-
And he was loved so much.
—E. Brenneman–

 

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

 

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24 thoughts on “Don’t leave important words unsaid

  1. Katie H

    I’m so sorry you lost your brother, Sue. I hate that for you! This is a good lesson and your story illustrates why. “I thought I had all the time in the world to perhaps mend the rift…” Isn’t that the story of life! I told my mom yesterday after she mentioned that she never did take my dad to this really good barbecue place in town we hadn’t tried, “I guess we just have to live in the moment now.” Our next moment is not promised. I enjoyed your post!

    Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Thank you Katie. He is still here but not for very much longer and is very weak. I love your comment ‘our next moment is not promised’ so true. Thank you for stopping by and I hope your mum and you are doing okay with the sudden loss of your Dad. He will always be with you x

      Reply
  2. Debbie

    Sue, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your beloved ones.
    Life puts so much pressure on our heads and it flies without us noticing. 30 days and 30 years go by with the blink of an eye.
    I know these haven’t been easy weeks for you.
    Thank you for sharing this picture and your story with us.

    Reply
  3. Mackenzie Glanville

    This is such a powerful post, it really speaks from the heart. I love the photo. My thoughts are with you, I am glad you got to share the phone call. My brother and I were so close as kids, but over the years we have struggled, family can be so complicated and yet so bonding. Hugs to you my beautiful friend #Fridayreflections

    Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Oh thank you Mackenzie. Yes he passed away on Sunday it is so sad however I shall cherish the last conversation. Thank you my lovely friend for your kind thoughts at this time.

      Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Thank you Linda! We had a Celebration of Life ceremony on Sunday which was very special. It is hard to believe an healthy strong man was cut down by cancer in 6 weeks. Thank you again for your kind words and stopping by to comment. xx

      Reply
  4. [email protected]

    Hi Sue – I somehow missed this post and I just wanted to say how beautifully you expressed your feelings about your brother and how relationships become distant but there is still love to be found. I’m so glad you managed to reconcile and have that last conversation because it gives you something to hold on to. xx

    Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Yes I will treasure that call Leanne. It has been quite hard but we had a Celebration of Life ceremony on Sunday which was just beautiful. I can’t believe he is gone it hasn’t hit yet but there were some beautiful memories shared on Sunday by all. Thank you for your kind words at this time.

      Reply
  5. Kathleen

    What a sweet post Sue. How lovely that your brother learned to know you through facebook and your texts etc. Then to have that phone call, how lovely for you. It must have bought you closer to his children too. I like your thoughts on regret. I need to remind my self of that quite often.
    Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party #30

    Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Yes Kathleen it was so wonderful to have the phone call to treasure in my memory. I had been in touch with his children but as he lived in Thailand for the last 10 years life just got in the way and we continued our own lives. We had a beautiful memorial service last weekend as a ‘Celebration of His Life’ and I was able to speak at that and reminisce about our childhood and how I felt about him.

      Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Yes Heidi it was a memory I will cherish. I also spoke at his Celebration of Life ceremony last Sunday which was a beautiful way to say goodbye. Thank you for stopping by to comment and have a lovely day!

      Reply
  6. Tracey Abrahams

    That is such a sad post. I am glad you have had the oppotunity to reach out and speak with your brother again. I had a similar situation with a different member of my family, but did not get the chance to mend those bridges. Strangely enougj I have wrote about it this weekend, and sceduled the post for Tuesday, the anniversary of her passing.
    I hope you are blessed with a little longer with your brother xx
    #Anythinggoes

    Reply
    1. sue Post author

      Yes Tracey I so glad I had the opportunity to speak with him as he passed away a few days later. I attended his Celebration of Life service and spoke about out time as children. It was very special and I’m glad that I went.

      Reply
  7. Sandy Sandmeyer

    What a wonderful piece of advise, Sue. I’m so sorry for your loss. Even if that love, admiration, or appreciation isn’t returned, you will never regret saying the words from your heart.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      Hi Chellie, thank you for your kind words. Time heals all they say but we never forget. Have a lovely day.

      Reply

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