It has been 10 years ago today since my wonderful brother Brady passed away from a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. It is a crazy feeling to reflect back on that day 10 years ago when it feels like yesterday.
Towards the end of his life he was in a lot of pain, he knew his time was coming and he was always so positive. He was the most Christ like person I knew, yet he was always striving to be better. He called a family meeting 3 weeks and 2 days prior to his death. He told us he knew it was his time to go and asked each of us if it was okay. I remember crying my eyes out as I got my turn to lay next to him and tell him it was okay. Deep down I knew it wasn't, I didn't want him to go but how do you tell someone who is suffering that they need to stay. You don't! Later that same day, with everyone in the room, my dad gave him a blessing that the Lord would grant the desires of his heart. As I write this now I cry because I remember exactly what it felt like when I heard my dad say those words. My dad never has done this before, he always blessed he would get better and be okay; not that he would grant Brady the desires of his heart which we all knew was to pass on.
Moments like this has helped shape me into who I am today. I was only 14 when he passed away and I wish I could of had more time with him. Being in 9th grade having my life turned up side down was hard for me. I was so use to having a house full of people that came in and out. Our doors were never locked. I was the baby of 8 biological kids but lets be real, my mom had more than that she took care of. After he passed away within months the house became just me and my parents. I was lonely and I would often run into his room when I was scared or lonely and find his bed empty. I would just lay on his carpet and cry. Cry because I missed him, cry because I wish I got closer to him, cry because I didn't know how my life would be with out him. I continued to struggle through high school and my college years dancing for the Utah jazz with my body image. I know most girls go through this at one point but for me I felt that much more selfish knowing my brother would kill for a body that could run, walk, even breathe on it's own. I would get mad at myself often that I lost sight of what really matter because before with him in the house it was easy, he was a constant reminder.
The day my brother died I was in California and we got the dreaded call that my brother wasn't responding. There has been many close calls in his 24 years he was alive but this time I just knew it was different. While at the airport waiting for our flight we got the call that my mom pulled him off the machines that were breathing for him. It was over... all I knew was over. I sat there in disbelief that this day had actually come. When I arrived home he was still on the bed like he usually was. My family was all there and we each got our turn to lay next to him and hold his hand one last time as we said our goodbyes. Half of his face was blue and I remember fearing that this is how I would always remember my brother. Luckily this isn't how I remember him; I remember so many things but here are just a few...
We always drove a handicap van with a lift and I was the smallest person that could fit in between the window and his chair to hold his head from flopping around on the bumps.
Staying up all night because his friends were so loud. I would lie to my mom and say they were swearing so she would kick some of them out so I could get some rest.
I remember he always loved when people would squeeze his hand.
He was very competitive and often cheated at games. He had a secret stash where his Aces and his wild cards would be and he would drive over open the drawer and magically win the game.
In my old house there was a light switch that had access to all the lights in the house. He would go and press all the buttons until he would hear one of the girls scream, "Brady STOP IT." Do you think he stopped...? no, no he didn't! :)
I remember siting in the front or second row in church so he could see and helping him take the sacrament.
I remember his thick and I mean thick glasses so he could see.
I loved his blue eye cover that would go over his eyes at night so he could sleep.
I loved when he clicked his tongue when he wanted something.
He also had a buzzer he could press against his head and it would ring through the house knowing he needed something. Let me mention that the buzzer was placed right above my bedroom so at night he would often ring it to the sounds of jingle bells to make me mad.
He always liked to be called the president.
Through him we got to meet President Bush senior.
He loved collecting pens and he would store them in his empty blue wipe cases. I would stare at them for hours wishing I could have cool pens and thinking it was unfair (keep in mind I was little).
He loved going to the grocery store and knocking over stacked cans as if it was an accident but he would do it on purpose :)
He loved to get in his wheel chair outside and all the neighbor kids would put on their roller blades and make a train behind his chair.
He loved the ladies! Every Christmas he would hang a mistletoe right about his head and tell the girls to get closer because he couldn't hear them. Then when they were close enough he would say look up.
He loved to ask what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
He loved to suck on tatter-tots.
He was mentally fine and so smart. He had the best memory... sometimes which was bad because he could remember things you didn't want him to.
Brady I love you so much and think about you every day. I am so grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints and have the knowledge that I will see you again.
To read another amazing story about my brother when he was 8 click here.