For Alex

Created by pboulay on 15/01/2013
My baby brother and his wife were thrilled the day Alex was born in 1986. Poor Alex never went home from the hospital. He had some kind of virus that ended his life in barely seven days. All these years later, I still think of him and am grateful for what he did for me. Over the last days we knew he was dying, I was there at the hospital when he was baptized. I didn't get to hold him, but say my brother and his wife cradle him in his last hours. I had three healthy daughters and was suddenly imagining what it would be like to lose one of them as my brother lost Alex. The imagining lasted but a moment. It was impossible to hold any such thought in my head. Lose one of my daughters? I've never allowed such a thought since then. Not acceptable. To even think of it, makes it possible. Fear. It was as if I had some control over events. My appreciation for them soared exponentially. At times, I imagined my daughters are alive because I willed it, because I....whatever. Well, my brother willed his son to survive. He blotted out the possibility of failure. He lost. Alex proved to me, beyond all doubt, that all life is special and unique. Ninety-six years of life, seven days, nine hours. It is life. It is a gift from God that is given to us, for our own lives, and for the lives of our children. The value of life is that it comes from God. The value is not dependent on longevity or accomplishment. Alex was as precious as any Nobel winner. He was Alex; my nephew who never had a birthday party; my brother's son who never slept in his own home. He was human, real, decent and loved. I will always remember that Alex was loved by God, the parents who welcomed him and by all those who saw him. Last January, I visited his grave in Babyland at the cemetery. I took a photo with my phone and sent it to my brother to let him know that Alex will never be forgotten. He still lives. I was touched by how much you appreciated the gift of your son. He may not have lived long, but he changed those who heard his story.