We were walking through the garden, and the gardenias were wilting - or were they camelias? They had peaked some weeks before and now the small bushes had shadowed shrouds of white, pink, and crimson. The petals had mostly fallen save for a few brave bulbs, brown-edged and starting to dry.
I can't write anymore. My heart hurts too much and I can't see straight for the tears. Tumors, they said. Melanoma, they said. Death, they said. My baby brother was hurting and broken and filled with cancer. He was diagnosed and died so quickly. I wasn't even there to see him gone. He's gone, and I missed that moment where he passed from this earth into life. I missed the reality shifting, the cold emptiness and bright glorious change. I missed it from nearly 2,000 miles away. Perhaps I was spared from seeing him that way - the what if's are pretty worthless now. The image still burned in my mind: two live minutes staring into my phone, wishing for Matthew to speak because I couldn't, seeing his grainy and tired face blinking, sitting up in his hospital bed and he saying, "I just had a liver biopsy, and I'm so tired. I love you."