My Little Brother

I lost my best friend last week.  No, he didn't waste away with cancer, no tragic accident, no heart attack.  He went in for heart surgery, hopeful, still worried about everyone but himself.  We knew he only had a twenty five percent chance of making it out of the surgery, but we never doubted that he would.  After all, Arnold lee had always made it through any obstacle.  He was tough and no doubt, to us, he would walk out of the hospital telling stories about the funny happenings at the hospital. Sure, it would take him a while to recover, but we all just knew he would.
Four days before the surgery, I visited with him and he was his old self, laughing about his friends giving him a pair of underwear with hearts all over.  He stood up and held them up to him and we were all, including him, laughing.  I hugged him goodbye and told him I loved him and that was the last time I saw him alive.
The next morning after the surgery, we tried to awaken him, but he wouldn't awaken.  A breathing machine was forcing him to breathe.  After two days the heart surgeon had a neurologist do a brain wave test on him and he was found to have no brain activity.  The Doctor said the brain probably died during surgery when the blood flow had to be stopped temporary from going to the brain because of excessive bleeding.  He had asked to have the breathing machine turned off if anything of this nature happened.  After three days, his sons, his girlfriend of eight years, myself, our two brothers, and his other loved ones stood around his bed with the Chaplin and said the 23rd. Psalm as the nurse slowly turned off the machine.   He never tried to take even one breath.  Our whole family misses him so much and I tried to put it into words when I wrote this song

Little brother I miss you,
and I can’t understand
why god would have to take
my best friend

When we were children we’d sit by the fire
I'd tell you ghost stories until we were tired
then we grew up and I moved away
didn’t see you for a while then I came home to stay

You were my rock when we lost mom and dad
and when we lost our sister we were all so sad
but you stood strong for my brothers and me
though your heart was breaking, you wouldn’t let us see

Now we all miss you
and its hard to understand
why god would have to take
our best friend.

How do I ever put into words what you meant to me.  I have noone to share my troubles with, noone to call just to talk.  You always listened and suggested a solution to a problem and never judged me. You never, ever said “no, I don’t have time to help you.”  You just said “I’ll be right there.” And you would never take a dollar for helping anyone, even though you had to drive a good distance to get there. You put everyone else first and yourself last. I’m so blessed to have had you for a brother for 59 years.  I know you would not want me to grieve so much, but my heart is broken.  I never told you how much I truly loved and appreciated you and that is my greatest sorrow.  But somehow, I believe you knew.  You were special to all of us and you always made all of us feel special.  If you read this, you would be embarrassed and insist you didn’t do anything anyone else wouldn’t do, but oh, you would be so wrong.  There will never be anyone like you.  Our greatest honor to you would be to try to walk in your same path.