Lost Chances

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Posted by Heartwarmers4u on September 20, 1998 at 08:07:10:

This true story was sent to me through the service known as Heartwarmers4u [link below]:
Doug Showalter

Dear Heartwarmers4u:

I had a brother once. He passed away more than five years ago at the ripe old age of 25. He was a successful businessman with great expectations. He had everything he could possibly need or want. He had multiple homes, cars and real estate. Yet, he was taken from us at the age of 25.

My brother and I were two years apart. I was the oldest of four children in our family. After the painful process of adolescence, we became friends. We had great conversations of career goals and choices, education, family, relationships and even politics. We had our disagreements, but we always managed to forgive and forget, which was a slow process. We thought we had all the time in the world to move past our disagreements, or so we thought.....

My story begins with a letter. A letter sent to me in anger from my brother. He was angry at me and my siblings over a misunderstanding. This letter was became a catalyst for much tension within our family. There were heated discussions, disconnected phone conversations, painful words spoken with my other siblings, and even my mother became involved. There was heat coming from all sides and before I was able to react, defend and/or respond to this letter I got the dreaded call. My mother called to inform me that my brother was in the hospital and that the prognosis was not good. She informed me that she was flying out that morning and will call me with the details. Upon her arrival at the hospital, my brother had already slipped into a coma and was not expected to come out of it. My mother never left his side except to shower and change.

Each time she left it was with hope that he would wake up and fear that he would slip away before her return. Much of her energy was spent praying for his recovery, talking and reading to him, hoping, praying some more and crying in silence.

During all of this, all I could do was pray for his recovery and pray for forgiveness. I prayed for forgiveness because of all of the tension, anger, and negative energy that was expelled over a misunderstanding. Over a letter filled with words of distruction. Words written in anger with no other purpose except to hurt. I love my brother, but during 'this' time I never said the words to him. I was too angry and hurt. We all were. Our last words to each other was less than desirable. Those words can never be taken back.

I learned a valuable lessen. I've learn to forgive because it doesn't cost anything. I learned to never end a conversation in anger and without ending it peacefully. I learned never say goodbye and/or goodnight to a loved-one without saying "I love you."

You NEVER know if it is going to be your last and the price is too high. The price is FOREVER.

I now keep a photo of my brother next to my Bible on my night stand. I see him every morning when I wake and every evening before I turn out the light. I often wonder if he knows that I love and miss him.....

A. Stuck, Wahiawa, Hawaii -- (This story took place in Tucson, Arizona)

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