So I've been away for a couple of weeks for the most part. On Feb 12th, my youngest brother suddenly passed away. Because he lived alone and had a password lock on his cell phone, the coroner's office was unable to get in touch with our family for 5 days. My parents were travelling and out of touch, so they struggled to locate someone else in the family and I was the first one they were able to reach. I got the call on the 17th as I was preparing to head to church. My mom docked from their cruise just a couple of hours before I got the call, and were headed to my house the next day on their return to their home in Colorado. My step dad had to break the news to her in the parking lot before heading here, thus enduring a 7 hour drive with my inconsolable mother to get here. I drove them the 11 hours from my house to theirs the next day, while my older brother flew in from Oklahoma to my other brother's house in Denver. We all gathered that evening at my mom's house to figure out what we were going to do. The next day my brother, my SIL, and one of my brother's friends headed up into the mountains where Andrew lived to clean out his apartment and pack it up. He lived between Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts. That was an all day affair. While they packed up his apartment, I cleaned out his car and went to all the places I needed to go in person to notify them, the bank, the post office, his job, etc. and to the coroner's office so I could pick up personal belongings of his.
My mom decided that I should take Andrew's car, since we only have one, and we gathered all his tshirts. Mom and I will make some quilts from them for all of us to have one, and one for his friend and neighbor, who was the unlucky one to discover him in his apartment. My younger brother makes all sorts of stuff, so he's going to take Andrew's snowboards to make a bench out of them for my mom.
Andrew loved the mountains and never wanted to leave there. He worked as little as humanly possible so that most of his time was spent snowboarding. He was crazy good, too. Did all these insane tricks in the air and such. He took a proud pleasure out of his many injuries. I always teased him that he was the eternal bachelor because no girl could compete with the snow. He loved kids though, and would have made a terrific dad someday.
Andrew started having seizures a couple of years ago, and had never been diagnosed with a specific disorder. They were trying out some different medications. He was on his third or fourth one at the time he died, and he complained to me about how awful it was. In the last few weeks, however he had been having them more and more frequently and more severe. Apparently this time he had one in his sleep and never woke up from it. Luckily he had his neighbor checking on him regularly, and he couldn't have been gone more than a couple of hours at the time he was found.
Today would have been his 29th birthday. I'm sad that I can't call him at a god awful early hour like I usually do to wake him up. I'm happy however, that he's no longer fighting his body, and frustrated at not being able to figure out what was wrong. I'm also happy now that I know he was saved and I don't have to wonder about where he's spending eternity.