I am 2 years younger than my brother Ron, but that will change now. In 2022, I will be one year younger in age; in 2023, I will be the same age, and in 2024, I will be one year older!
When we lived on Queslett Road and we were very young, Ron and I shared the same double bed. Sometime after, we had separate beds. I’m not sure how the two beds arrived; maybe dad sawed the double bed in half, lengthways, I don’t know. We went to the same primary school and, eventually the same Comprehensive school. I was always destined to follow in my brother’s footsteps!
Eventually, Ron graduated and went to work at a local butcher’s shop, then he joined the Army. The family took the train down to Aldershot to see his Passing Out Parade. When he was demobbed from the Army, we were living in a flat in Castle Bromwich and it was back to the two of us sharing a bedroom.
It didn’t take too long for Ron to get a job at the Atco Lawnmower factory, get married and move out. Shortly after Warren was born, I emigrated to Canada and contact with Ron changed from a regular occurrence to sporadic either by phone (expensive in those days) or by mail (no email in those days, either). He visited Linda and me in Canada several times, the last one being with Chris in 2016 for his 70th birthday. They stayed with Linda and me for the first week of the visit and it was the best time ever – for the first time that I can recall, the old sibling rivalry was not there. The last time I saw Ron in person was in September 2016 when I visited England and stayed several days with Ron and Chris: Another good visit.
During our final string of emails in early October this year, Ron told me about the program he was enrolled in to achieve the Shamanic Practitioner status. I asked him about what that was; I also asked other related questions and he gave me his responses. On October 8th (our final exchange as it turned out), I told Ron that I wasn’t able to fathom what it all meant but that it didn’t diminish how proud I was of him and how he is able to help people the way he can. I told him that the world is a better place with him helping people.
For Christmas 2020, Ron, Chris, Linda, me, Norah and David had a Zoom get-together. During the conversation, Ron and Chris told us that they weren’t getting vaccinated against COVID. They cited a lack of science to support being vaccinated. In our March 2021 Zoom session for Ron’s birthday, no mention of COVID was made. In the weeks and months following Christmas’s Zoom session, science and experience with the COVID vaccine have progressed to the point where getting vaccinated is fully supported by both science and experience. We are all sadly reminded of the consequences of that ‘no vaccination’ decision for which Ron has paid the ultimate price.
So sad and so preventable.
No longer having a brother to talk to is one of life’s experiences that a person shouldn’t have to go through.
So long, Bro.