Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank You.

This week, I've been thinking about and praying for a brain. Specifically, my big brother's brain.  Ironically, growing up, I would pray that he would GET a brain. Or USE his brain.  And 7 years ago, I finally had proof that he HAD a brain. He had a Vespa accident and went to see a doctor about some symptoms he thought were a result of it. Instead, they found a tumour, tucked deep into his hippocampus...which is not a university for hippopotami. For real. I looked it up on the Wikipedia. A few months later, they operated to remove it.  I saw the video from his first surgery and had to admit that he did indeed HAVE a brain. For years, I was convinced of the contrary. I hate being wrong. 
But, in all seriousness, these past few months, my brother and I have had those kind of conversations you don't want to have about your sibling's brain.  The tumour had grown back and filled in the space of where they had removed it last time and was now needing to be removed again. This is brain surgery, people. The tough thing is that it means that they have to go BACK into the area where they already removed a tumour and do it again. It affects his ability to work and having time off and being the Dad sort of feels like you're just in limbo and not really contributing regardless of the fact that you are recuperating and healing so that you can be a Dad and work and contribute....

So, the other day, I'm in my office and chatting online with my brother in Japan, in the middle of his night before surgery...he's listening to other neurosurgery patients on the ward snore and he can't sleep. It hits me that I'm on the other side of the world and feeling pretty useless to do much for him when I tell him I'll ask people to pray for him. And so, I throw out a photo on Facebook and ask a few people around me to be praying for him and the thing lights up. Friends from South Africa and from Zambia, from Australia and from all over North America and Europe...basically, there's someone on every continent but Antartica praying and sending good thoughts and lighting candles and projecting positivity for this guy and I was overwhelmed. I know that tough things help people come together but people stepped into this with not only me and my brother, but his wife, Masayo...his son, Eito...and my parents and aunts and uncles and cousins and his coworkers and his beer drinking buddies and his Vespa riding club... and it's so good. And it's a good reminder to me that we're never really alone unless we isolate ourselves. Thinking that there, in a hospital room in the middle of the night, there are all sorts of messages flying into the night sky on Dero's behalf that are being spoken in cars driving to work in the mid morning commute in Saskatoon, in the late afternoon heat of a Zambian wet season and in the misty evening of a European springtime.  There's a friend in Melbourne from 20 years ago in my past who is speaking my brother's name and there's an Ethiopian driver that I met last week who messages me to say that he is praying for Dero. And so, I leave them in your capable hands...or hearts, to remember them when you can and do what you do to bring them up to whoever you believe to be in charge of the universe. And I hope one day I can repay you for the overwhelming support we've felt in these past 24 hours. 

Masayo and Dero.

My favourite Japanese creation....the sushi monster that is my nephew, Eito. 

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