Perspective of a sibling … with LOVE

I have a friend whose remaining parent has recently passed away leaving him to look after his adult brother, a brother who is disabled. My heart goes out to him.

My own brother Christopher passed away a few years ago but I clearly remember having the occasional thought of what life would be like, should he outlive my parents. How would I rise to the challenge? Especially in comparison to my parents who worked miracles and moved mountains for my him.

The song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother “by the Hollies, comes to mind. At the beginning of that beautiful song, they sing “the road is long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where? Who knows when?” Beautiful and heartfelt words, never so true…followed with; “but I’m strong.” The overall message is that this brother is no burden for him to carry.

The song wasn’t written for a biological brother, but rather a brother-in-arms; a soldier who became disabled during the war…close enough! Love doesn’t require biology after all. Just ask Sonny, the man who came into our lives to help us when Chris’s health was in decline. Caring for Chris during this stage was very difficult, but you knew this kind and gentle caregiver and friend, never felt burdened by the task. Caring for Chris was Sonny’s life’s work, and he loved our Chris so very much. Love was both Sonny and Chris’ source of strength.

When my mom and I discussed a cause that would be the focus of the Christopher Smith Foundation, we thought about Sonny, and then of the many kind doctors and nurses, the many caregivers and the loving staff at Opportunity Village who looked after my sweet brother for so many years. Over the years, so many incredible people came into our lives, and we felt blessed, they gave their support, offered us hope and were a source of strength. “They made his welfare their concern.” ;-)

This message goes out to my good friend and his brother, and to all who can relate to the challenge of caring for someone who is dependent on you. Be strong, I wish for you the great fortune we had of surrounding ourselves with the love and support of others. And, when we open our hearts to the goodness that prevails in the world, love comes rushing in…..

“If I’m laden at all, I’m laden with sadness that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the gladness of love for one another”. – The Hollies

– Jason Smith