I'm 55 years old now. Just had a birthday in December. It was a big month and a big year. The biggest event was the death of my little brother. He was 48 years old. Our younger siblings are not supposed to die before us. He had brain cancer. A tumor was found in August of this year, he began chemo and radiation in September and finished it October 21. He fell a couple days later and things went rapidly downhill. Its unclear if the fall was caused by a seizure or by something else. But when he died December 2 I was there by his side.
His death taught me an important lesson about the shortness of life and that time does literally run out before we are finished living. I thought, like so many others, that it will go on until I have completed everything I want to complete and then I will retire and wait to die. It often doesn't happen that way. Many times it sneaks in and robs you of life right in the middle of it.
I come from a very dysfunctional family. Abuse was rampent in our lives. My father died of leukemia when I was only 7 years old and my mother remarried. We loved our stepfather, but he was very abusive. In addition to that there was sexual abuse from the most trusted members of the family.
The brother that died was 7 years younger than me. he told me once about an uncle that was abusing him. I told my mother and her response was 'he wouldn't do that.' Where does a kid go when that is the response?
I love mom, always have, always will, but her inability to accept that another member of her family would harm her kids was what allowed this to continue for years.
My brother suffered alot of years of emotional pain because of this.
What allowed so much pain into our family was our families inability to face and discuss things that should be faced and discussed. So often we keep quiet to protect another member of the family because in our child's mind we feel if that person knew they would do something bad and bad things would happen to the family.
I was raped when I was a teenager by a man I was dating. I never told anyone. I bleed heavily and should have gone to the emergency room but feared my step father and brothers finding out. I was afraid they would go to jail for beating up or killing the man who raped me. So he got away with it.
This year, I speak up, stop trying to control the world and work on just controlling myself. This year I announce to the world that I am worthy of life, not by words but by living it, by taking better care of myself and doing things that I want to do.
This year I vow to live.