I learned this morning that my brother, Laney, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. He had just celebrated his 63rd birthday on the 4th of December. Although it was not a shock, one is never ready for the inevitable news that a sibling has passed on.
We were a family of five. Laney came before me and I was the caboose. I, the little sister, was forever trying to keep up with him. He was good at everything – sports, school, popularity. Upon receiving the news of his departure, my mind traveled back over the years to happier times when, in our youth, it seemed we would live forever. This summer, the doctor said Laney had a year to live due to lung cancer and a host of other maladies. He had been declining in health for some time. I had a feeling when I hugged him and said ”goodbye” before returning to Haiti that it could very well be the last time. It was a long, slow hug and he wept when I told him I was returning to Haiti. Knowing that we had prayed with him several times, I had the assurance that I would see him again.
If I could witness the reunion taking place now between he and my family members who have gone on, I wouldn’t feel quite so sad right now. I take heart knowing that he is now pain-free and I imagine him in my mind’s eye as that tall, gangly teenager running up and down the basketball court making basket after basket. I am brotherless now and I weep, yet find comfort in knowing that I will see him again.
Goodbye Laney. To say you will be sorely missed is an understatement. I relish in the fact that the next time I see you, you will be completely whole.