Twice I have tried writing about this. Twice I stopped before I got to the point of my blog. Those of you who have read “Waiting” and “The Clock Ticks Loudly but The Hands Aren’t Moving” will note that I have combined the two posts here. I will once again try to tell this story. If you have read my “About” introduction, you know that most of my posts are about my life. Most everything I write are true facts. I don’t want to sound as if I am complaining, or as one might say, whining, looking for sympathy but what follows are just the facts and my feelings as this all unfolds, This story doesn’t have an ending yet so if you are interested in following to the end, be patient. It will come, eventually. There is an ending or an outcome to every story in one’s life, not always what we want or hope for, pray for, but each story does come to an end. Here, we have two intertwined stories taking place at the same time and both include plenty of hopes and prayers and yes, patience.
I’ll begin here back at the beginning of “Waiting” so that you can put everything in order and perspective.
Nov. 15, 2016
Its been about three months since Detective Marc called to tell me that they had found his cabin burned to the ground. They had only gone to check because one of the townspeople reported that he hadn’t been seen around town since September. He too was familiar with the man know to most only as the mountain man and had noted that he hadn’t seen him on his bike around town for quite some time. There was no sign of him at the cabin. A week later Detective Mark called to say they had taken the cadaver dogs up to the cabin and again nothing. There was no body. I gave a small sigh of relief. Now, he was just missing again.
We rarely knew where he was or what he was doing. Nothing about how or where he lived or if he had family. Now and then, usually with many years between times, he would just show up either at my other brothers house or at Mom or Dad’s, on the doorstep with a backpack in hand. We had come to expect this from him. This time though, it had been too long. We tried to locate him when Dad got sick, having no luck at all. Dad died, without him there. I was sick at heart for this fact. That was 2009. Then in 2013 he still had not been located. We tried. Mom was sick. Early in 14 she too passed without seeing him again.
After that I just gave up on him for a while. It seemed impossible to locate him. But as each year drew close to December, his birthday and Christmas, I’d found myself praying that he was on one of his cross-country bike trips headed home. This was the time he would have shown up, the time of year when he had shown up previously. Every year my heart sank when he didn’t come.
Yesterday, startled out of my deep thoughts into reality, I stiffened as I looked at the number and picked up the ringing phone.
“Hello Detective. Do you have any news?”
“Sandy. We found a body.”
It had been nineteen years since we’d seen him but the tears unexpectedly came swiftly as Detective Marc said those words. It was 1998 but it felt like only yesterday that he sat on my couch looking out the window as we spoke of trivial matters. I still don’t know if my tears were because, if this “body” is him, he’ll never sit there again, we’ll never talk again ,trivial matters or otherwise, or, if they were partly caused because I had only just let myself fully understand the depth of the report from my Doctor, which began with words like spinal cord, surgery, immediately, and every other statement that followed spoke of “severe,” such as severe impingement and severe deterioration more words like be careful, no falls, no lifting, one wrong move, wheelchair, for the rest of your life. That is where my thoughts were when I picked up the phone. Now, nothing was making sense and I was feeling totally nauseous. I heard he detectives voice repeating those words . A body, they had found a body. Not too far from where his cabin had been. There was no way to tell if it was him. They would need a DNA sample from me to get a match to see if it was him. I agreed of course, said goodbye to Detective Marc, and ran to the bath room and vomited. I saw my older brothers face, as I knew it, then pictured me in a wheel chair and vomited again, as the reality of why they needed the DNA set in. Still in much of a daze, I made my way back through the house, headed for the back door to call my husband in and try to tell him about the call. Stopping to hold on to the fireplace mantle for a minute hoping the dizziness would pass, I looked up at the old clock. The one that was much older than myself or my brother. The one that Dad had given me as his years were leaving him just as they were leaving Grandpa when he gave the clock to Dad. I remembered him saying that if I ever saw my brother again, the clock was supposed to have been his. That’s what grandpa had wanted. The clock, as if set to do so at that precise moment chimed the three o,clock hour.
“You stupid clock. I should throw you in the trash.” I grumbled as I ever so slowly moved on to find Steve. The clock hadn’t run for years. The hands never moved, yet, everyday, it would chime at the three o’clock hour. At that moment, it was as if time was standing still whilst the old clock on the mantel stood yelling profanities at me with each strike and each slow step I took. My three felt like thirty.
Now, I am waiting. Waiting to get DNA results. Is the body they have found that of my missing brother? I probably won’t know until towards the end of the month. I had talked to the Coroner and he told me it took two months to get results back. That will be around the twenty-third. Everyday is torture. The not knowing almost drives one crazy. I haven’t seen him for so long but still, he is my brother and if this is him I will die myself a little more inside. My heart is aching and pleading with me to just hold on. Along with that I wait too to find out when I will be having surgery. The physical pain that has plagued me for so many years finally has an answer. Well, at least part of it. Some of it is just there and always will be. That’s another story. However, the back pain that I had resolved to be a part of my forever life, now has a possible fix. I took a fall last September and have been going down hill ever since. Problems that had been there for what seems like forever increased to a point of needing a MRI. The answers that came with that procedure were hard to believe. It’ll take a couple of surgeries but the possibilities without the surgery are not an option. Already, my hands feel like clubs because of the nerve damage. It is difficult to write (type) so I have done little of it. However, I, like many of you, use writing as an outlet. Writing is my salvation. Writing eases the pain and takes away the time that moves so slowly. I haven’t been able to say these words let alone put them on paper. I didn’t know how. I haven’t shared any of his with anyone except my family. I finally decided it was time to write again. So this is it. This is why my life is in a holding pattern. All this is why no one has heard from me, why life stands still, and why my heart and my stomach just wrench with complete pain and fear. Fear of the unknown can so completely render a persons whole being incapable of functioning in a normal manner. So now, I just wait for the insurance to give authorization and the paper work to all be in order. I wait for the surgeons call to set a date and, of most importance, I wait for the next call from Detective Marc. That should be only a couple of days away at this point. The twenty-third they said. We should hear something by the twenty-third.
Waiting…………..yes absolutely, waiting………..is pure hell.