Our Writers Corner
you know that you have a choice where you will spend eternity?
Chances are, you didn’t realize you had so much power over your
. . . here’s the scene. This
high anxiety jerk-of-a-boss is ranting and raving around the office
about one thing or another. After firing some poor soul for what appears
to be no good reason, he steps out of his upscale office building and
into the path of an on-coming automobile.
He dies. Next scene
shows this much calmer, still slightly arrogant jerkoid dressed in a
white suite, in a white environment, reaching for a plate of chocolate
chip cookies. He begins to greedily gulp them down as he strolls toward a
white refrigerator. He
opens the refrigerator door and with an obviously dry mouth full of
cookies, picks up first one empty carton of milk after another.
begins to sweat profusely. Not
getting his milk has, by now, become torture; plus the temperature is
rising. No longer haughty
and defiant, he looks around this pristine environment, and sheepishly
remarks, “Where am I?” At
that very moment, the “got milk” logo appears on the screen with
dancing flames below it.
In 1972, my brother, Brian, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone
cancer. He had spent some
time at the Mayo Clinic and they did all they could.
Since my stepfather was a career soldier and the Army has
traditionally been sympathetic to such hardship cases, they moved my
family to The Presidio of San Francisco where Brian received
experimental care at Letterman General Hospital. During
that time, I moved home to be with mom. It was gut-retching to watch my
brother’s condition deteriorate.
I somehow managed to participate in life during his waning days, my
13-year-old brother taught me the real value of living. I learned to be
gentler and less harsh. I
learned to take a critical look at what I thought was so important only
to discover that it all meant little compared to a human life.
I learned to say I was sorry when I made a mistake; and mean it!
None of this happened over-night, but I took stock of my values and
began to change course.
When it became apparent that he wouldn’t last much longer,
Brian was hospitalized at Letterman.
They took good care of him and didn’t allow him to suffer.
We stood vigil. Late
one afternoon, as I held his hand, he opened his eyes in absolute
wonderment and said, “It is so beautiful.”
One foot in this world and one foot in the next. Those were his
I knew at that instant that I wanted to spend eternity with my brother
in that very place. You can
call it whatever you desire but I want to go where it’s “so