As I sit here trying to write a tribute to my brother Bill, who passed away from Cancer on February 1st, I can't believe he is gone. I can't believe that I will never see him again or get a phone call offering advice, whether I asked for it or not, because as we all know, it's an older brother's job to share their wisdom.
I am unable to attend his memorial service in Arizona because the logistics of traveling would be too difficult. I hope that you'll permit me to share some memories of my brother in this post. I won't write about his many accomplishments as an Orthopedic Surgeon, teacher and lecturer, or tell you that he was a forerunner in the field of Sports Medicine. I won't even tell you that he went to Harvard University and Medical School and what a great football player he was. I want to share a few memories of my brother and what I'll miss most about him.
When I was little, I could never go to the airport or train station to say goodbye to my brother when he left for college. It's not because my parents didn't want me to come along, it's because I'd be crying so hard they were embarrassed to take me. I couldn't help it; I just didn't want him to go.
I remember Bill and his wife Susan, (although I don't think they were married yet) staying with me one evening. Bill acted out the entire story of Sleeping Beauty. To this day, if I close my eyes, I can still see him dancing around the room.
Bill traced and cut numbers out of sandpaper so that I could run my finger along the rough surface of the sandpaper to learn my numbers.
When I was eleven, an appointment was made for me to see a doctor about the possibility of my having surgery to straighten my legs. X-rays had to be taken. I was afraid. Bill donned a lead apron so that he could stay with me while the X-rays were taken.
The last time I had surgery, Bill called the doctor who was performing the surgery and talked to him. I don't know what questions he asked, but he wanted to make sure that I had the best doctor.
Three weeks before my mom died, Bill came to visit her. He came into the room and said, "Mom, how come you're not watching the basketball game?" (It was March Madness.) Here was my mother with her family around her watching a basketball game. Just like any other Saturday. That Saturday was one of her last good days.
Bill was the reason I began blogging. He suggested I start a Bianca Blog and write stories to go along with my children's book.
Last June I sat next to Bill at the dinner following my nephew's wedding. The wedding was the last time I saw Bill. We talked and he made me laugh just as he'd done countless times when I was little. It is a memory that I'll cherish.
I'll miss the way Bill could be silly and make me laugh. We didn't always agree on things, but I know he wanted the best for me. I'll miss knowing he's just a phone call away.
Bill accomplished so much in his life. He helped many people. I am proud to say he was my brother.