I am preparing for the long awaited trip West, returning my Brothers ashes to New Mexico. A simple request he made. A promise I have ached to fulfill. In these 2 weeks prior to departure, He is hourly on my mind. Though I've returned to my normal life, it still feels raw.
When my Brother came to live with us we had to make some changes in our old farmhouse. My husband and I had always slept downstairs in the smallest bedroom, leaving the upstairs bedrooms for our collection of in and out kids. Our house was built in 1869 and in tradition with that era, the staircase is steep. To accommodate his declining status, we moved upstairs and we made our previous bedroom into his room. There is a fireplace in there and designed to give him privacy and the best access to the bathroom. The last 3 weeks of his life, I slept on a loveseat just outside his doorway. After his death I stood in that room, now empty of a hospital bed and other implements of his illness, and thought, I'm done here. I cleaned it up, turned on a lamp and walked away. I thought it best.
Today my Husband and I went shopping for a new box springs and mattress. We picked out a nice one after laying on every mattress in the store. My husband looked at me after we arranged for delivery and said "Little (He has always called me that and I'm not sure he knows my real name), I think its time to move back downstairs". He is right. I have prepared our bedroom for delivery Monday. I'm sitting on the same loveseat where Ive read for years while my Husband watches ballgames. Our life will return to where it was before. My Brother would approve. He was clear that there be no "shrine". He referred to me as "useful and decorative" when I cared for him during his illness. I honor him by going home. Even if its just to my bedroom.
Lastly, I checked my Brothers email and facebook today. It had been about a month since I did so. There was a facebook message to him from an old friend. She missed him. I miss him too.