In Honor of My Brother

My older brother, Scott, was diagnosed with childhood diabetes when he was 13 or 14. If I had only one word to describe him it would be smile. He always made others smile and had a smile even when he wasn't happy or in pain. He hid a lot of that from us. I think it was because he didn't want his illness to define him, and I hope he's happy to know that it didn't. When I think of him I never think of diabetes. I think of throwing darts, hitting pinatas, being goofy, playing The Magnificent Race and Shoot The Moon board games, dancing to Nine Inch Nails at his wedding, playing Keno for the first time, the thrill of drinking with my older brother whose birthday was 1 day and 1 month before mine, and laughing. He had a great sense of sarcasm to go with his humor, and always had a wry comment to make me smile even during contentious family political or religious debates. Not that I come from a long line of stubborn, independently minded people. maybe.

L to R: Jenny, Me, Scott, Bryan circa 1993 - look at our hair!!!

We all knew he was sick. My oldest brother, whose example of genuine love and care for another humbles me beyond words, tried to convince Scott to move in with him, but he wouldn't have it (did I mention stubborn and independent runs in our family). I was not that close with Scott, and while I have a feeling that Bry and those close to him knew, I really didn't think he was as sick as he was. I remember him being upset when Bryan told us when he was in the hospital and can picture him standing in his driveway with a smirk telling me, "I'm not going to die; I've got more years in me than they think." That was less then a year ago.

L to R: Scott, Jenny, Me, Bryan circa 2012 - with less, but better hair!

I guess that's why it such a shock when I heard the news. I was in Indianapolis sitting in a hotel conference room waiting for the next assessment session to start. I don't know what made me listen to my voice mail, but as soon as I heard it I just stood up and started walking. My apologies to the presenter. It's such a shock. You expect to see a person for Thanksgiving in less than a month but instead they are gone. You realize that you didn't fully appreciate a person in your life who you really cared about and now it's too late.

L to R: Scott, Me, Bryan, Dad - Thanksgiving 2012

Scott would try to make me laugh or smile right now. He would say something witty or silly or simply state the obvious in such a way that the absurdity of it all would make you realize that all you could do was laugh. And he would hate what I'm going to do next. He would hate the attention it brought to himself or his disease. But like him I'm stubborn and independent and am going to do this my way, which I hope he can appreciate.

I'm going to run the Phoenix Rock n' Roll Marathon on January 19, 2014 as part of Team Diabetes in Scott's honor for the American Diabetes Association. I'm running in hope that other sisters may get to smile and laugh with their brothers longer than I was able to due to our support. I'm also running because quite simply running, like my brother, makes me smile. I miss and love you Scott.

I'll post details about how you can support the American Diabetes Association and my run shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2/20/2014


    Sending thought and prayers of healing to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Scott many years ago and remember how witty, sarcastic and downright silly he could be. He was always so considerate of the feeling of others. He also had an amazing (and sometimes maddening) ability to stay calm and laid-back no matter what life threw at him -- he'd just shrug and smile. He taught me to always be up for an adventure in life. I truly believe the world is a better place for him having been here.

    Take care,
    Lani B.