I've been absent for a few weeks from posting. I had every intention of showing pics of my new year's dress (and still do), but then my brother went in the hospital the second week of January and passed away on January 17.
Mark suffered from severe Crohn's disease and lived with varying levels of pain for his adult life (he would have been 36 in August). My older sister also has Crohn's, but has a much more manageable case using diet and first-tier drug therapies to stay healthy.
It has been such a long battle that I've had to compartmentalize my worry and sadness over Mark's situation for the last 10-15 years to cope. I went to back to work this week and I automatically went into coping mode only to wake up today with too much time to think and the sadness is creeping up on me again. It's for the best, really — I was getting a stomach ache holding it in and felt incredibly disconnected. Crying can be good for you.
B and I were pretty much with him at the end. I say "pretty much" because we left the room for a couple of minutes for the nurses to attend to him and he "slipped out" the door right after us.
We don't have any pictures of Mark from the last 10 years or so (he refused to have his pic taken as his condition deteriorated), but we got a great shot of him in University from one of his friends.
Mark was an incredible athlete. He had a black belt (sash) in Win Chung Kung Fu and also studied Wushu (think Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan). He had plans to go to stunt school in the States and had even put a deposit down when he was more or less healthy. His health didn't improve so he didn't end up going.
He made a little video for his stunt school application that I debated uploading to this post, but I'm not sure I want to have it on the internet for all of eternity so I think I'll keep it to myself for a while at least. It's frickin' amazing by my standards.
Mark was a super funny guy who genuinely cared about others and over the years he became my best friend.
I've learned from Mark:
1. If you find something difficult physically and want to quit, remember that there is someone out there who would give anything to do the same thing and can’t. Use them for motivation.
2. Having fun is incredibly important.
3. Find your passion and make it your life no matter how ridiculous it seems to other people.
It is a privilege to have this blog and cathartic to be able to share bits of my life. Thanks for listening.