Yesterday I called my brother. Last night I watched Marley and Me. Though these two events may seem unrelated, they are not. While on the phone to Larry we talked about his job, the weather, my children and grandchildren, and his dog. Next week he will take his beloved dog, Mitsy, to the vet and have her put to sleep. Like Marley, Mitsy’s too tired to do the things she used to do, and even though I know it’s best for her, it makes my heart hurt! Just like Marley was to John and his family, Larry’s dog is his best friend and he will miss her tremendously.
Unlike Marley who came to John and Jen at the start of their marriage and family, Mitsy entered in the latter stages of my folks’ lives. Larry lived with my parents all his life and took care of them until they passed. When he brought Mitsy home 14+ years ago, my folks adopted her like their own. As she (and they) grew older they hoped she would not pass away before they did, so Larry would have her there as comfort once they were gone. And it was so. Dad and Mom went to be with Jesus respectively. And Mitsy remained alive and well. Until this past year. So now it’s Mitsy’s turn to go, and Larry will do what’s right and best for her, just as John did with Marley.
My brother Larry is, in my opinion, a hero. A hero is generally thought of as someone who does an amazing courageous feat, or is a James Bond-like character in a movie or play. However, one definition explained a hero as “a person noted for nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.”
My brother would never consider himself a hero, in fact, he would consider himself a very simple person who has only done what any responsible person would do given the circumstances. You see, not only will Larry do what’s right for his little dog, but he has always done what’s right when it comes to others!
Larry took care of Dad and Mom until the day they each went to be with Jesus. This was no small feat, for the latter years of their lives were fraught with doctor’s appointments, CT scans, MRI’s, surgeries, recuperation from surgeries, and in the end sitting by their bedsides waiting for Jesus to come and take them to heaven. His years of care-giving spanned approximately eighteen years of his life.
No he did not risk his life, but he certainly sacrificed it over the years, by doing what was never easy, but what was always right.