My older brother Scott passed earlier this week. He had a procedure done on a foot ulcer about a month ago. Infection set in, and things went into a quick descent from there. It was shocking how, every day it seemed, something new was going wrong with his body. The last week or so of his life was a real battle for him; it really started becoming clear to me that we might lose him. We lived a long ways from each other and so we only saw each other about every year to 18 months or so. I'm glad I at least got to see him over the Summer. Of course, I had no idea it would be the last time. Dealing with death is such a weird thing. You think of all the memories, and you wonder what you would have done differently had you known how little time was left. If you knew someone important to you was going to die one year from today... what would you do differently? You'd probably try to see them or at least talk to them more often than you normally would have. You'd likely say things like, "I love you" and "you are really a good [brother / friend / husband / wife]" more often. Maybe you'd put more effort into arranging a get-away or short vacation together. The thing is, you usually don't know how much time is left. Like I said above, I'm glad I got to see him over the Summer, but I never thought it could be our last time together. I am always more inclined to think that about our 87 year old dad-- who continues to beat the odds. Life is strange. Death, more so. Scott and I did do a good job staying in touch by texting and calling. At least weekly, usually more often than that. I'm so glad we never let the miles separate us completely from each other. We were wired very differently. He was an engineer, and very good at figuring things out, fixing things, very mechanically inclined... I'm hopeless with that stuff. Our views on some of the heavier topics were very different... and yet, none of our conversations about such things ever became heated. He was kind and caring, and universally loved. He was so selfless, always willing to help anyone out. He was a good big brother, always watching out for me when we were little guys. I'm sure you'll all agree this is about the best picture ever. Portland, Arkansas, 1969 or '70... Scott was in the 5th grade, I was in 3rd. He's the good looking one to your left. Still can't believe I'll never see him again. Rest in peace, Scott. Best big brother ever.