I began my memoir in 2001 right after my beloved Mother died. I was in a terrible depression after having been under tremendous stress for eight years and wrote over 800 pages the month I began it. It took me ten years to edit it down to publishable length and to finally get so frustrated with one of my siblings that I decided I would publish it. I sent all three of them the last two chapters outlining from my perspective what had happened the eight years between my Father and Mother's deaths. The first 20 chapters detailed the good, the bad, and the strange "spiritual" things that had happened the first 63 years of my life.
For the past 13 years my three siblings and I have been estranged. I haven't seen my baby brother or sister since Mom's funeral in 2001. Jim called and I did visit my older brother after he was diagnosed with cancer but after the memoir was published in 2011, he disowned me. He died in 2012 and I wasn't mentioned in his obit...it claimed he only had one sister....so I didn't go to his funeral, I did cry a lot, send a big wreath, and I still pray for him.
Last week I got news that my baby brother was gravely ill and not expected to last more than two weeks. He wanted to go home to die and they brought him home last Friday, the same day I found out how ill he was. He had been in hospitals most of the last two years and wanted no more...after a number of surgeries he told his wife, "Enough is enough...I feel like they are cutting me up in little pieces."
He was ready to do it his way.
I went off the deep end again. I called my oldest son and told him I wanted to see Robert before he died...what should I do? He called Robert's wife and she told him Robert wanted to see me too and to hurry, she didn't know how long he would stay coherent after they took him off dialysis. I notified another son and daughter and met them and they drove me "home" the next day...the first time in those long 13 years I had been back to where I grew up. Sunday morning my oldest two sons and daughter and I went to my brother's home who lived next door to where Mom and Dad used to live. It was a nostalgic journey and I had no idea what I would say to anyone. I need not have worried myself sick.
When I bent over his hospital bed in his living room to give Robert a kiss on the cheek he told me, "I've been waiting to see you."
I almost lost it but was able to have a healing conversation with him. Everyone was very nice and gracious, my sister came by for awhile. It was a blessing for us all and Robert and my oldest son made it happen. I received a call the next day, Robert had passed away early that morning, less than 24 hours after I saw him..
I decided to call my older brother's wife the following day knowing I would see her at Robert's funeral. I found out from her Robert's wife had told her I was coming over and she came too but got there soon after we left.. When she heard my voice she told me she never answers "unknown" numbers but didn't have her glasses on and decided to chance it. We were both grateful she did. We talked over an hour about a lot of things and it was healing for both of us. I had gotten a note from a niece telling me how sick Jim was also but when I called a family member to find out where he was so I could go visit, I wasn't told the truth and that inspired me to publish my book.
I've been pretty shook up all week and I'm sure Robert's funeral will be emotional for me but I do believe Mom, Dad, Jim, and Robert will all be smiling down on all us stubborn Kolojaco's.
I've thought a lot this week about having published our family's tribulations but I've yet to feel much regret. It was the truth about my strange journey the way destiny divined it and I don't regret very much of my life at all...just the last 13 wasted years.
I've believed in miracles since I was seven years old and I have documented several in black and white just the way they happened. Truth can be stranger than fiction.