Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Brother Russell

I come from a large family. Three brothers and three sisters. The oldest is Russell. I was born a year after. Russ could be a real bear at times, he could be stubborn and loved to argue, but mostly he was good natured. He loved a good joke, being with good friends and loved his job. Although he never was one to admit it openly, he was very sentimental, he loved family gatherings, being at our homes, and took it very hard when our parents passed.
He would do anything for anyone, and as long as I have known him was a hard worker who loved to work and be busy. He was married twice, and had been separated from his last wife since last year. He had three children, was stepfather to two, and Grandfather of six. He loved children.
Russell was also an alcoholic. He tried to quit several times, and was doing okay for a while. He had his ups and downs and at times life just seemed to hard for him. He was always was sober when we got together. It was like he felt strong enough to say no when he was among his family and friends. He was the kind of guy everyone liked. His employers liked him so much in fact they drove him to rehab, got him odd jobs, included him in their family events. Russ was never afraid to help out, he never put on airs or pretended to be anything he wasn't. I posted this picture given to me today by his former employers wife, Gail. You see they had invited him to their daughters wedding. Gail even took him to get a haircut and suit to wear. When the bartender had not shown up in time, he took a tray and started serving. No one had to ask. He was just happy to be there, always happy to help. That was Russ.
I think it broke their heart to have to lay him off when the economy tanked. They kept in touch, and promised to take him back if things got better. They never got the chance. He stayed with us for Thanksgiving, and then for a time he stayed with our sister, Kim, and her family. He did not live far, but was difficult to reach him as his cell phone service was poor. He loved to cook and would often make dinner to take to the people where he used to work.
On Wednesday my brother Russell passed away. He was only 53, he was not drunk, there was no alcohol, or drugs in his system. What started with a cold, became pneumonia. Russ had COPD from years of smoking. and he had no insurance. He tried to take care of himself, and did not tell us. On Monday he could not breathe, and thought he was having a heart attack. he must have been delirious when he walked to the middle of the road and passed out. Someone called for help. When he became conscious they asked him who to contact. He gave them Kim's number, but he made a mistake on the last digit.
When they could not reach her they never thought to cross check the name for the correct number. When someone finally thought to do this, Wednesday afternoon, it was too late. They finally reached Kim later that evening. She called and we all raced to get to him. We were too late, my brother left us at 6:30pm.
It has been a difficult three days. Russ left no will, only a request on a statement indicating that my sister Kim was to be his beneficiary. My sisters and I have been running, filing papers, cleaning his apartment, making arrangements. His funeral was today, the service was lovely, his friends and family gathered and shared fond memories of Russ. It has been a long hard three days, with more ahead. He will be laid to rest Friday, we have to gather once again to say good-bye. I miss him, I love him, good, bad, all of it.
Good-bye Russell
Russell Ernest Glentz
September 29, 1955 - August 19, 2009

16 comments:

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

oh debra! i am so, so sorry. my heart is just breaking and the tears flowing with this beautiful tribute to your brother! you are always in my prayers!

hugs,

Sonia ~ Vintage Rose Designs said...

Hello Debra,
I am so sorry to hear about your brother. This is a very touching post to your brother. May he rest in peace. My prayers are with you and your family in the tough times.
Hugs,
Sonia

Joy said...

Debra, my most sincere condolences go out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt tribute to your dear brother with us.

Claireabelle said...

Sorry to hear your sad news Debra. I know platitudes are not what you want to hear right now but Im sending you virtual ((hugs))
xx

Beedeebabee said...

Debra, I'm so, so sorry for your loss of your wonderful brother. Your tribute to him was so touching it brought tears to my eyes. I'm so at a loss for words, but please know that I think what you wrote was so beautiful, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Sending a big hug, Paulette

The Victorian Parlor said...

Debra,

My deepest condolences and prayers go out to you and your family over the loss of your brother. I am sorry for your loss.

Blessings,

Kim

Cassandra said...

Oh dear, I am so very sorry for your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with you. What a dear post, may he rest in peace.

Cassandra

Lee W - The Way I See It said...

Oh, my heart is breaking for you. What a lovely and sentimental post. Life is hard, and not always fair, but it sounds like he KNEW he was loved. And that's what matters. ((HUGS))

susan said...

so sorry for your loss. very nice tribute.

TattingChic said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother.

Terri said...

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family. See ya soon
Love Ter'

Her Art Nest said...

So sorry to hear about your brother. My thoughts have been with you..talk soon. ~Nance

Renee said...

Oh my dear friend I am so sorry to hear that. So sorry.

My heart is with you, please know that. I am so sorry.

I believe that you will see him again in the day beyond days.

Love Renee xoxo

The Chateau of Remnants said...

Debra,

I am sorry for your loss! YOU and your family are in our prayers!! I know there are that you just can't lift your head but, just remember you have lots of love and support just ask!

Praying for your heart to heal fast and full blessings!


{ttfn}
Renee

Melissa Bove (SCS ~ Melissa1872) said...

Oh Debra! I am so sorry for your loss! Your brother seemed like a wonderful person! My heart is aching for you and your family! You will be in my thoughts and prayers!!

Hugs....

KV Creative Designs said...

Debra,
I am very sorry to hear about your brother. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.
Sincerely,
Kathryn