THANK GOD FOR MICRO-BLOGGING
As many of you know by now, my life changed dramatically after returning from SXSW09, when my younger brother Robert informed me that he had cancer (I considered capitalizing the ‘c’ in cancer in order to be more dramatic, but I have not wanted to give the disease any more consideration then necessary). His news hit me very hard and I choose to stop blogging at that time. Instead, I choose to use Twitter to update everyone (family as well as people who follow me on the different Social Networks) because it was easier for me to handle. For some reason, sending out a picture or a short thought was something more palatable to me at the time as opposed to sitting down and writing a paragraph or two for my blog, or writing countless emails updating family and friends. In fact, I thank God for Twitter (not something I’m sure people are used to hearing about a micro-blogging site) because it allowed me to keep people up to date and still keep my sanity. I can see clearly now that choosing to deal with sharing news about my brother in this way allowed me to treat it ‘as a matter of fact’ or ‘news’ instead of an emotion filled land mine of an update. Don’t get me wrong, I still made tear-filled phone calls to family and friends, but as long as I could send out a ‘Tweet,’ many people were satisfied and I didn’t have to constantly repeat the details of my brother’s struggle with cancer. Along the way, and because of sites like Twitter, Facebook and Lalawag, many more people then I would have ever imagined became concerned with my brother and his battle. I could tell that this wasn’t some morbid fascination with was going on with me, my brother, and my family either. These people really cared. They passed along their Thoughts, their Prayers, and their Well Wishes. Many people even prayed that a Miracle would save my brother, while others offered Recommendations of Doctors and Healing Treatments that might cure his cancer. I was overpowered by the many «HUGS» and XOXOXOs as well as offers of help that I got through Texts, DMs, and Facebook Messages. Each message treating me, my brother and our family as someone that they have known forever as opposed to only knowing me through my photographs or ‘online.’ My family members even thanked me for updating them in this way. They too it seemed, wanted a way to ‘keep up to date,’ without having to have an emotional breakdown two or three times a week. I was told by more than one extended family member, that they were thankful for my updates because it allowed them to keep in touch without having to bother my brother directly. In the end, when my brother did pass, many more people were there with him then were actually there in person. It is a great tribute to both my brother and to Social Networks that he was able to touch so many lives without ever once having met them IRL (In Real Life).
It may not be impossible to Thank everyone individually that offered up Prayers, Thoughts, Well Wishes, and offers of Help, but it could take me a while and may be filled with much more emotion than my body can handle at this time. I hope that you will allow me, for the time being, to Thank everyone through this blog post, and I hope you know that it is as heartfelt and genuine as I can make it. Each and every one of you who followed my brother’s fight with that evil disease was there with me as I celebrated his Life and his Memory. All the family knew that you were following and everyone from his 19 year old daughter (she just turned 19 the week after my brother passed) to my many extended family members were thankful that you were there for him when God decided to take him home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and thank you from all of my brother Robert’s family and friends. You would have liked him and the world is a better place for his having lived his life.
May God Bless and Keep each and every one of you.
All the best,
P.S. Many people have asked about his Obituary, the Program I put together for my brother’s Memorial Service and about the Eulogy I gave. I am working on putting up a web page that will have all of that on it along with some pictures, but until I do, here is a link to his Obituary that ran in the Long Beach Independent Press Telegram, and to the Program. I’ll add a link to the Eulogy I gave once I get it up.