A death in the family

So yesterday morning one of my brothers, Brendan, was killed in an accident at work. He was 49. There’s an article about it here.

Just a few days ago a regular commenter on this blog lost her brother unexpectedly and I was trying to think of something I could do to help. And now we are in the same boat.

Everyone on Facebook and stuff is saying “sorry for YOUR loss” but the loss wasn’t really mine. We were so far apart in age and weren’t close.

The horror and sorrow I feel is for Brendan’s three boys, who lost their oldest brother two years ago and are now without a father. The youngest one is thirteen or so, the oldest in his early twenties. And I am very sorry for our parents, the more so because this is the second time they will have to bury a son. I had another brother who was killed in a car wreck in 1988.

Brendan was a hard worker and a wonderful father. He liked working with his hands and was skilled in all the manner of mechanical things. He had a responsible job with the city utilities or something like that.

Though we weren’t close I remember him doing some pretty cool big-brother things. Once when I was about fourteen, he invited me to take his motorcycle for a spin around his property. I had never ridden on a motorcycle in my life. Of course the inevitable happened and he just assessed the damage, made sure I wasn’t hurt, and shrugged. He wasn’t mad at me, presumably realizing this was really kind of his fault. He was pretty chill like that.

Yeah. So this just really sucks.

Hold onto your loved ones tight because you never know when tragedy might strike.

Black History Month: Shirley Gladney

In honor of Black History Month I’m profiling one African-American MP every day on this blog for the month of February. Today’s case is Shirley Anne Gladney. This 20-year-old woman disappeared from Okolona, a small town in northern Mississippi, on April 9, 1999. She was last seen walking away from her home to go pay an electric bill. She never returned and sadly that’s all I’ve got.