Rick Summer 2013

Whenever I get around to posting this my brother will have lost his fight with cancer. I’m writing this now while I can still see with dry eyes.  I really wonder what this post would have looked like if I had waited until after his final days.

    He was 64 years old. About the same age as my mother when she died. My Dad, heck, he lived until he was 92! And he died in his sleep. That’s an important fact because my brother was a Fancher. He looked like my Dad and had a similar build. My brother was one of those “great guys” like my Dad. Helping others is what they were both about.

   But cancer doesn’t care. Cancer just jumps in kicks all of those nice-guy genes to the side and proceeds to kill everything in its wake.  Cancer doesn’t care that my brother’s wife had seen her sister die less than 2 years before with this cancer’s cousin.  Cancer doesn’t care that my brother’s son had to take extensive time off of his work to help out. And it certainly doesn’t care that two of his kids live in Florida with their families and one of his sisters lives in California and I live in Texas.

  Sometimes those left behind get a bit bitter about this whole cancer thing.  My brother owed me. He owed me the chance to beat him in golf. He owed me the chance to beat him at bowling. And, he owed me the chance to beat him at horseshoes.  My brother NEVER – I repeat, NEVER – let me beat him. He was an incredible athlete and 8 years older and I didn’t stand a chance. Worse thing about all of my memories was that he was nice about beating me too. He never rubbed it in my face. He just won and moved on.

10 years from now, when I’m 66 and he should be 74, I was supposed to be whooping his butt on the golf course. “So, can’t quite drive it like you used to,” I’d say. I’d be whooping his butt at the bowling alley. “So, want to move down to the 10 pounders. You don’t seem to be able to roll that 16 pounder any more,” I’d say. And, “Hey maybe we should move these pins closer together. You can’t quite throw those horseshoes the whole distance.”  Man, I was ready to get to that point because I was NOT going to be a nice winner. 66 years of losing was going to be reversed in just a few years.

But NOooo, cancer had to jump in the game and take all my future fun away.  I don’t get it. Seems to me that the real losers in all of this were those my brother touched in his short life.  Well you know what? 10 years from now I’m going to hit the golf course and every great shot I hit I’m going to turn to my brother, in spirit, and give him crap. And then I’m going bowling and every strike I roll I’ll say “in your face.” He’ll know it was me.  And I’m going to play horseshoes – lots of horseshoes. And I will be the meanest one on the court.

So Rick, don’t think you’re going to get away that easily. I’m after your butt. And you know what? One day, I’m going to win!

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