December 12th is the 4th anniversary of my brother, Roger’s, death. I wrote this memory piece for him some time ago but am publishing it here as a remembrance of my wonderful brother. While this is personal, I have discovered on LinkedIn and other social media sites that writers are nothing if not a mix of people with thousands of very personal, very thought-provoking stories. And from the personal we draw the life-blood of our stories. If Roger were still here, he would be cheering me on with my writing. This, then, is for him.
His Smiling Eyes
by Elaine Cougler
Roger died. At only fifty-four his heart gave out, his smiling eyes closed, and he left us. Left us all. His children and grandchildren, his wife, his brothers and sisters, and brothers and sisters-in-law, his many friends and many more acquaintances—he just up and died away, from us all.
He died on December 12, 2008 in the evening, at the hospital, after an ambulance ride during which he infuriated the paramedics with his humorous quips. They wanted straight answers from him to assess his situation but he just made jokes and they didn’t know if that was normal or not. Well, Roger was never in his life ‘normal’.
When he was born I was almost eight but he soon caught up to us older children. He mastered adding and subtracting before ever going to school and so quickly that Mom moved on to multiplication and division. Yes, he could do all that before he made his school debut. And he could read just about anything. I seem to remember him with the local newspaper, reading out stories to us at our large family dinner table.
He was a bit of a problem in school because he was Read the rest of this entry »