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It is always too soon to say goodbye.

But often it is taken out of our hands. Life plans, travel and then death happens. I am writing about my brother Mike Patrick.

Recently I said goodbye to my little brother. Calling him my little brother is a tongue-in-cheek description. He was three years younger than me but He was 6'3" tall, wiry and very strong. He weighed almost 13 lbs. when he was born. He grew fast and even though I was three years older I was small, skinny and not very strong. To save my life I had to run fast at a young age.

Mike and I were the youngest of five kids, the three older ones were a group and Mike and I were the tail-end kids.

Mike had a massive heart attack last April. A lot of damage to his heart.

Johnny and I went rushing home Monday after work. Straight to the hospital. Mike was in bed smiling, talking, laughing. Glad to see us.

I knew it was bad, but I was just anxious for the doctors to do their thing and fix him.

"When you get out of here, Mike, I am going to fix you a good dinner and we will have a party.

"We need to make it a point to spend more time together," I said.

"We will," he said. "We are going to have all the time we need in eternity."

He said stuff like that to people all week. He was always conscious, friendly, making jokes even though he was having a lot of pain.

His heart couldn't sustain his body and major organs were shutting down.

Still I couldn't believe he wouldn't be fixed pretty soon. He would have to recover from this heart attack and take a lot of medicine and watch his diet. People can live under those guidelines. Sharon would learn to cook for him and family parties would have to have special food for Mike. Okay, we could do that.

I never thought of really saying goodbye.

But Thursday about noon, Sharon called and gave me bad news. He was bad.

They were talking about surgery. I guess they were talking about his colon, but his liver and his kidneys were shutting down too. I kept thoughts of how do they know what to fix, way back at the back of my mind.

Then about 2 p.m. Johnny and I decided to close the office and head home. We got to the hospital and were able to spend time with him.

He was still conscious, still cheerful, still making jokes. Our nephew, who was more like another brother was just leaving. They had gone over some old-time army memories.

His son and daughter-in-law were in the hall.

Mike looked up, saw Johnny and me and opened his arms as well as he could.

Smiling, grinning, telling us he loved us. Thanking us for coming.

Said it meant a lot to him, "everyone coming, shows they care" he said with a happy smile between grimaces of pain.

We didn't stay long, he was too weak to laugh with us.

We got home and in about an hour, maybe less, Sharon called.

"He's gone," she said.

I got to say goodbye and he did too. I'll see him someday.

--MARTHA BROCK IS A FORMER EDITOR OF THE LINCOLN LEADER, PRAIRIE GROVE ENTERPRISE AND FARMINGTON POST.

Community on 06/05/2019

Print Headline: In Memory Of My Brother Mike Patrick

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