Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brother Daniel

Daniel S. Meckley

My younger brother Daniel passed away last week. He was 46. We will miss him.

Daniel and I almost share a birth date. His was born on September 20th and I on September 21st. One of my earliest memories is crossing the street in downtown Newport News, Virginia with my Grandmother,Great Aunt, and little brother Jim, on our way to the old Riverside Hospital to pick up my Mom and new baby brother Daniel.

Growing up, our birthdays would often be celebrated on the same day. We each had our own cake and presents but not own "day". No matter. It was fun and special to share a day. And as we moved into our twenties and thirties, the shared celebration was a good excuse to get together at Mom and Dad's for dinner and cake even though I had moved to North Carolina.

There were no September birthday get-togethers for the last 5 years or so. My wife and I were living in Florida and then China - too far to travel. Daniel, wife Cathy, and dog Chewy moved to Richmond. However, now that we were back in the States, we had planned to meet at the Outer Banks this month to renew the birthday ritual. In fact, I talked about it with him on the phone the day before he died.

Now, we won't have that birthday celebration and it will be a tough weekend of September 20/21.

Recently Daniel had not been well and was on oxygen and using a cane. In fact, he had medical problems all his life. As a family we learned two great lessons from this. One, parents' love can be spread equally among their children even though sometimes their attentions are not. Two, Daniel - kind, and generous to a fault - never complained about his illnesses; not because he was stoic, but because he accepted his lot in life. "You get what you get" said the Pastor at his funeral.

There are plenty of good memories. I'll relate just one here.

Daniel always had a way with the ladies. When we were kids, I called the neighborhood moms Mrs. Harvey and Mrs. Register. He called them Billie Joe and Myrtle and drank coffee with them.

And finally to quote my niece.

R.I.P. Uncle Daniel
Say hi to the Chewster for me.


Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear that your beloved brother passed away. Will all great memories remain.

Hope you still had a shared birthday this past weekend - though a difficult one, when he was up there and you are here. I am sure he can feel your love of him.

john said...

Thanks Mei.