When people die prematurely, it tends to bring a lot of thoughts to one’s mind. Kara Swisher wrote this opinion piece in The New York Times about the sudden and unanticipated stroke she had when was on a business trip in Hong Kong when she was just 49 years old. She had a really busy schedule and was running from meeting to meeting, but in between, she was on the phone with her brother, who is a doctor. She described her symptoms to him. And he advised her to immediately get to the nearest hospital right away. “You’re having a stroke,” he admonished her. She needed to get treated ASAP.
Because of her brother’s constant prodding, she finally relented and went to the hospital. Through an M.R.I., she discovered she was having a mini-stroke, a small hole in her heart to which a clot traveled. If she didn’t go right away, she could have had her mobility taken away or even died. But because of her loving brother’s insistence, she is now here with us, still living, still able to be with her husband and their two sons.
I paused for a bit after reading this and teared up, especially at the last two lines:
“That definitely included the fantastic brooding of Mr. Perry’s Dylan McKay, who was given to saying things like, ‘The only person you can trust in this world is yourself.’
Well, I guess, but not if you are lucky enough to have a brother who saved your life.”
The world does not revolve around me. But when I read things like this, stories about sibling relationships and love, and in this specific case, a brother who saved his sister’s life, I think about my relationship with Ed — how I wanted to help save his life, but I was unable to. I was too far away from him, both physically and mentally. I couldn’t help him as much as I wanted to because I was just unable to reach him. And stories like this are a reminder of how I tried and failed because I just wasn’t capable. It just hurts all over again.