Yesterday morning, Brian called me to say that my 35 year old brother, Justin, died.
Maybe I am naive, but I have NEVER once considered what would happen if one of my siblings died. Never. You don't think about those things. You think about your childhood and you think about sitting around the kitchen table laughing when you are all adults and then when you are 45 and 55 and 65 and all have grandchildren and it never occurs to you that someone might be missing.
They (who is they?) think he died of a massive heart attack or a pulmonary embolism. There will be an autopsy today. My brother, Jared will sit in on the autopsy via Skype
Justin, Justin, Justin............
I'm afraid to write too much because the floodgates will open and I'm not sure that they can be closed.
I WILL write about him eventually.
Because there is so much to say and I loved him so, so much. And some of you will know that I loved him almost like my own child and that even though he and Jared are 35 and 37 and 6'2", I called them "the babies."
He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie who is pregnant and due in August, 5 year old twins and a soon to be 3 year old.
Brian called me at 8:40.
He asked me to get in touch with my parents in Rome.
By 8:55, my dad was on the phone.
"Gina...........uh so.........you talked to Jared."
"Oh. Did you talk to Jenner?"
I was confused.
He was confused.
There is no way my other brothers could have called him before now.
He was talking.
What was he talking about?
He responded the EXACT same way I did.
"Justin's dead? Nooooo! Noooo! Noooo! Noooo!"
We talked and I shared what little I knew.
My mom couldn't come to the phone.
She was to overwrought.
I don't blame her.
And then my dad went on.........
"I thought you were calling because you had talked Jared.
Jared was supposed to call everyone today and let everyone know that Mom has been diagnosed with cancer and we were supposed to come home from our mission next week."
Wait. What? I don't remember everything that was said.
I remember hours later thinking that maybe he said that they "thought" Mom had cancer or it "looks" like she had cancer and they were coming home to get diagnosed.
No. I talked to Jared and he gave us all the detail.
It's March 17th.
My brother is dead and my mom has cancer.
I am wearing waterproof mascara today.