My brother, Malachi (Mal), 66, passed away last night. He was a great brother and will be deeply missed.
He moved to Tampa in 2001 to help me with my business, and much more.
Whenever we needed help around the house, planting trees, rebuilding a fence, fixing the plumbing and air conditioning, or moving heavy furniture or boxes, he was available in a heartbeat.
We spoke by phone almost everyday, talking about “whirld” events as well as reliving some of our youthful memories.
When we went out to eat, he could read the bill from across the table and calculate how much he thought I should tip the waitress.
He loved to find used bikes, fix them up and resell them. And he gave plenty of things away to those who were in need.
He was a friend to everyone in his neighborhood. When people saw that he wasn’t around for the past month, they wondered, “Where’s my friend?”
My brother attended most of my son’s ballgames, as well as my daughter’s ballet recitals.
As a teenager, Mal (along with my brother, Brian) hitchhiked from our home in Iowa to Washington state. I loved hearing the stories about them pitching a tent in Montana and Idaho to sleep for the night. In retrospect, we were both amazed that our parents allowed him to do this. A different era, no doubt.
My sister Sheila and brother, Kevin, were at his bedside along with me when he died at the VA Hospital last night.
My wife was with us, too, as long as she could stay before leaving to let the dogs out.
Minutes earlier, before I walked her to her car, Mal’s heart rate was at 87. Upon my return his heart rate was at 55. My birthday is 5-5, so I took this as his final wave goodbye, thanking me for being there.
As his pulse dropped, I held his arm and watched as it trickled down to zero. It went fast.
51, 47, 39, 29, then all the way to the Big 0!
“He’s gone,” I blurted out, the way Mal would have done.
My sister and brother lifted their heads to look at the monitor. They saw the Big 0.
Mal’s life had gone full circle.
His final heartbeat.
His final breath.
This is a tough one. I’m going to miss the LIVE conversations, the stories and the laughs. I’m going to miss him asking for my advice, and vice-versa.
But the physical pain Mal experienced is finished and NOW he can truly Rest in Peace.
He battled as hard as he could; he fought the good fight.
God Love You, Mal!
You were the BEST!
I love you. I’m proud of YOU – and proud to say you were and always will be my brother.