It has been a rough week
My Brother Passed Away Today
I have had a difficult week. On Monday my sister-in-law sent me a message and told me that my brother was near death.
Today, March 23, 2019, he passed away. RIP Mick Martin.
A Little History
There were 3 of us. Myself. My sister, Charlotte. And, my brother Mick. I was the eldest, followed by Charlotte. Charlotte was 2 years younger than me. Mick was the youngest. About 6 years my junior.
Charlotte died at age 15, in 1979
In September 1979, my sister Charlotte died at the age of 15. She was killed by a drunk driver in a terrible car accident. It happened that I was driving home from my after-school job and I came upon the accident. It was probably the most traumatic experience in my life.
I never really was able to overcome the grief until around a decade ago when a close friend helped me through some counseling.
I was a Senior in High School at the time, and Charlotte’s death really affected me greatly for the rest of high school, college, and through the rest of my life until around age 45 or 46. Of course, it is still difficult today, but I am able to deal with it.
My relationship with Mick
During our childhoods, Mick and I were not that close. I think this was due to our difference in age. A 6-year difference does not sound like much, but when, say, one sibling is 15 and the other is 9, well, you don’t have a lot in common. We got along fine but we were just not that close. I would say that with Charlotte being in the middle, she was close enough in age to each of us to be close with both of us.
As we got older, say when Mick was around 20 or so, and I was in my mid to late 20s, we became closer. We never really did a lot together, but I would say that we could relate to each other more.
Mick and I also held very different interests. I was always interested more in tech type things. When I was young I was into Ham Radio and Shortwave Radio listening. As I aged and technology moved forward I became interested in Computers and the Internet. Mick, on the other hand, was really into horseback riding when he was young. As he got older he got into Motocross. But we got along fine for those years when I was in my mid-20s until around when I was 40 or so.
I moved to the Philippines
When I was 38 I moved to the Philippines with my wife and kids. There were good reasons for the move, and I will never regret having made the move. If I had not moved, I believe that I would already be dead myself. In the Philippines I really changed a lot:
- I turned my health around
- I matured
- I learned to be more patient
- I became a better person
Those are things that made me who I am today, and I like the person I have become. I did not really like the person that I was before, not very much anyway.
For the first 3 or 4 years after we moved to the Philippines, I used to call Mick a few times per week. I had one of the early VOIP phone systems (Voice over Internet Protocol) and I was able to call from the Philippines to the USA for free. We talked, at that time, more often than we ever had in our lives.
Suddenly, though, one day, Mick would no longer take my calls. I really have no idea why. To this day, I don’t know the reason for sure, although I have a few things that I suspect. My chief suspicion is that he did not like it that we had moved to the Philippines. I have been told this by several people, but Mick did not tell me (although I asked him many times), so I don’t know for certain.
Over the years, I tried so many times to heal the rift and reestablish communications with Mick. We talked a few times over the years, but not many.
Last year, on March 21, my Mother passed away. This caused Mick and me to be in contact so we could work out arrangements dealing with our mother’s death. At the time, I told Mick that I would like it if we could stay in touch and get closer again. He said he wanted that too, but frankly, I rarely heard much from him after that.
When we decided to move back to the USA in October 2018, I sent Mick a message to let him know and his response was not that positive, so I just kind of left it at that. When we arrived in Indiana on January 17, 2019, I messaged him again and informed him that we had arrived and were living in Indiana. Again, he did reply, but not very enthusiastically. After that, I never heard from him again, until 2 days before his death.
His Cancer Battle
In March 2014, I became very sick with an infection. The infection was caused by a bite from a bug, but my diabetes made it much worse than it needed to be. I was hospitalized at the time.
At the same time, my Mother was going through a cancer issue and she became hospitalized.
Again, same time, my brother was informed that he had a very aggressive form of brain cancer, and he was hospitalized. So, all 3 of us were in the hospital at the same time. I was in a hospital in the Philippines, and each of them was hospitalized in the United States.
Over the last 5 years, Mick has gone through a lot with cancer. Many rounds of chemotherapy, several surgeries, and a lot of sicknesses. I wish I had been able to give him my support during that time, but he just never seemed interested in communicating with me. It made me quite sad.
The week of his death
On Monday of this week, as I said, his wife contacted me to let me know that Mick’s health had taken a turn for the worse, and he would be entering hospice. She told me that Mick asked her to contact me and tell me that he loved me. That meant a lot to me. She also told me that Mick would be calling me on Tuesday to talk.
On Tuesday, they were not able to call, because Mick was not doing well. On Tuesday, though, my nephew contacted me to keep me up to date. I asked him if Mick would be able to do a video call with me, and a few minutes later Mick and I were talking on Facebook Messenger. Mick did not look great, he was going through so much. Some of the things he said did not make a lot of sense, but it sure was nice to talk to him. I felt that we had a nice conversation, we both told each other that we loved each other, and I considered our rift to have been reconciled. I hope he felt the same.
I was planning to fly there
I am in Indiana. Mick was in Washington State. We had not seen each other for about 20 years.
When I learned that Mick was in hospice, and it seemed like the end was near, I started looking into flying there to see him. However, I wanted to talk to him on Tuesday, as he had planned. I did not hear, though, so I was not sure what to do. When we did talk on Wednesday, I was told that they felt he could die at any time. I decided that I did not want to be in the air when he died, and then not be able to see him or speak to him again. So, I felt it would be better to stay home and try to talk to him on the phone or video each day, or as often as we could for the time that he had left.
Unfortunately, we never talked again. I was told that after Wednesday when we talked, he mostly slept the rest of the time, and could not talk. I understand that. But as far as the decision of whether to go visit him or not, I think I did the right thing. If we had been able to get some communication going in January or February, after our return to the States, I certainly would have flown out to visit him a month or more ago before I even know that things had become quite grave.
I am sad and happy
This afternoon, I was in Kokomo with my family when I received a message from my niece informing me of the death of her father. It made me quite sad and brought tears to my eyes. After we got home, my son, Chris, broke down into tears.
At this point, about 6 hours later, I am still sad, but I am also happy that we did get that one opportunity to talk, especially on video. That meant a lot to me, and I will never forget it.
Rest in Peace, Mick. I am sorry that our relationship took a bad turn for so many years. I wish that I knew why. Maybe we could have fixed it and had some good times together. You will not be forgotten.
So tragic but I’m glad you got that one last chance…
I am as well, Yvonne. Thank you.
Marie and Durwood Alford
Bob: Deepest sympathy, Prayers. You and your family were so special to us in Oregon and continued in Louisiana. Heartfelt condolences .
Thank you Marie and Durwood. I hope both of you are doing well.
Bob, so sorry for your loss. My prayers and condolences are with you and your family. God bless.
Thank you very much.
I just called my sister…
Good idea, Perry.
It is in weeping that we learn to contemplate the goodness of God. It is in mourning that we discover the peace of God that passes understanding.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Thank you very much.
My condolences Bob! I also have a younger brother (4-year difference) suffering from cancer. I had cancer back in 1983 and had aortic dissection surgery in 2014. I took my brother with me last August for a week-long trip to my Navy reunion and to visit friends/relatives in Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, DC. It was the first time we had ever done anything together like this (just the two of us). I am 62 and he is 58, and I would encourage everyone to heal any wounds/differences with your loved ones while you are BOTH still here. We lost my oldest sister in 2015, and I regret that we weren’t as close as we should have been. Again, my condolences, Bob.
I’m so sorry to hear about your brother and his situation as well. Please keep on doing things together like that, it will make you happy for a long time.
Heartfelt condolences pare Bob…
Thank you so much.
I’m so sorry to read your news, Bob. Please accept my heartfelt condolences …. thankful that you were able to talk with Mick before he passed!
Thank you very much Kate.
My heart is breaking for all of you. The photo you posted was great, I never saw mick without a smile.
Thank you very much Bev. I hope you are doing well.
Susan D. Carney
That’s really sad Bob. God is good, He give you and Mick a chance to talk for the last time. He is at peace now with God. no pains anymore. He is happy, watching you and his family in heaven. Rest is peace Mick. Condolence Bob and Mick’s Family.
Thank you very much Susan. Those are comforting words.
Condolence Bob! It made me cry reading your story. It reminds me on how Nick died that I had no one to cry on.
I understand, Jenny. Thank you very much for your message.
Sorry to hear this news. We remember seeing him in his cowboy hat standing nice and tall. Our thoughts are with you and his family.
Thank you very much Vicki. Yes, he always look good in his cowboy gear.
Our condolences to you Bob and your Family.
Rather sad story. Kind of makes me think about my own Family and lack of communication within it.
Thank you Neal. If you have such a situation in your family.. reach out. Don’t wait!
Bob New York
My condolence to you and your family Bob.
Thank you very much Bob.
My condolences to you Bob. A brother died from a freak car accident last year. So that’s how it feels.
I am very sorry to hear of your loss too, Roy. Take care.
RANDY JOSEPH WEIS
So sad to hear of your loss. My mother passed away on Feb 26th of pneumonia and kidney failure. She was on dialysis since 2017 and on Feb 21st she decided she had enough of fighting and was at peace and ready to go. On Feb 25th she went into hospice and the next day she passed with most of the family at her side. It was sad and a lot of tears were shed, but we were glad her suffering was over. We are so happy we decided to come back to the US at the end of January instead of April, as we originally planned, so we were able to spend a whole month with her. We are forever grateful for that.
Thank you very much for that, Randy. I have not heard about your mother, but my condolences to you as well.
Bob, so very sorry to hear about yalls loss!! Take care!!!
Thank you, my friend.
My condolences. You did the right thing. Your story I am sure will effect many to also do the right thing.
God’s Word The Bible tells us at Act 24:15 “and I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a RESURRECTION of both the righteous and unrighteous.
In addition Revelation 21:3,4 comforts us with these words “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look The tent of God is with mankind, and they will reside with him and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. AND HE WILL WIPE OUT EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES, AND DEATH WILL BE NO MORE, NEITHER WILL MOURNING NOR OUTCRY NOR PAIN BE ANYMORE. The former things have passed away.
Take care my friend.
Thank you Ron, I appreciate what you shared.
Thanks for sharing your grief and happiness at such a hard time. Truly made me feel blessed about my relationship with my brother. So sorry your trip home turned into such a bitter sweet time.
Hi Tony. Thank you very much, I am glad you stopped by and read the article and that it helped you realize your blessing. That makes me happy.
I don’t consider my move and my brother’s death to be connected. I don’t think about it in a way that it spoiled at all my return. They are two separate events, and the death was coming, we knew that for several years. It would have happened no matter where I lived.
Ralph Edward Castillo
Condolences to you Bob and all the Martin family.
Thank you, Ralph. All the best to you.