This morning I got the sad and unexpected news that my brother, John William Hickey, has been hospitalized and diagnosed with liver and kidney cancer which is advanced enough that it appears to be untreatable. After getting the news I rushed to my computer to see if there was any eMail from our sister, Nanci, and found that she'd sent the picture on the right (before the news about Johnny). It struck me as a foreshadow of exactly what I expect Nanci and I to be doing over the next days, weeks, or months: reaching out to our brother so that he knows we're with him, supporting him in love, praying for him to have what he always wanted: to come, to go, and to leave — to fully live his life — on his own terms.
What more can I say?
I'm in pain — deep sadness over the anticipated loss — with a myriad of confusing, mixed feelings. For now I'm not going to say anything more other than to include a not-so-recent picture — a real picture of the three of us — from Johnny and my birthdays in July 2004.
The other foreshadow that comes to mind is from my posting of just two days ago... with a background of the ethereal voices from the Libera boys choir, the "Elderly Father to Son" video reads: "If ever I do not want to eat, do not force me. I know well when I need to and when not. And when some day I say to you that I do not want to live any more... that I want to die... do not get angry; some day you will understand". Yes, indeed. Life will never be the same after my Mom's dying weeks in the summer of 2000; I do understand. So does my sister; see Nanci's blog about Johnny. And see also the YouTube clip of Libera singing "Far away" — that haunting melody, the source of the "Elderly Father to Son" soundtrack.