St. Patrick lived on an island, the green island, Eire. He wasn’t from there. He came as a slave long before he became a Bishop and then a saint.
Today, the day of his death many centuries ago, is the day we celebrate his life with parades and wearing green and drinking green beer and dancing Irish jigs.
It is also the date of the death of my brother, George, and his wife Roz. They died, sixteen years ago on a long stretch of road that lay like a grey ribbon bisecting the snow-covered prairies on either side of their car as they drove away from their daughters into a destiny they could not imagine. Theirs was a fiery death. Small vehicle meets huge transport truck. The driver of the semi came away unscathed. At least physically. I don’t know about emotionally or mentally. I’m sure it was catastrophic to him. To witness this tiny compact car bearing down on his front end. To be helpless to avoid the collision that took the lives of two people he’d never met. Did he have nightmares after the accident? Did he wonder what he could have done differently? Does he still drive a semi?
It was so unexpected. Inexplicable. Such a loss. Was it a miscalculation? A momentary loss of attention or a desperate attempt to calm the turmoil and chaos that was unfolding around them?
We will never know.
What we do know is that we loved them. They were our family. They will always live in our hearts.
Rest in peace George and Roz. May you know it is only love you have left behind. Only love we carry for you in our hearts.
I awoke on Thursday morning with the words to a poem writing themselves in my head as my dream slipped from memory. This morning, it happened the same way. Both are about my brother. It makes sense. He’s always on my mind at this time of year.