My brother Tommy died this morning. I just got off the phone with his widow. I'm stunned and can't really believe it yet. We've been expecting it. But you never really believe it when it finally happens.
When I was a little girl, Tommy was adored by the other kids on my block. I'd watch from the bay windows as they all crowded around him, burning with jealousy. And run to the stairs when he came in the house to reclaim him as mine.
After his Army hitch, he was never the same. He was, to my mind, like Syd Barrett without the fame. He played 24 musical instruments. He had a resonant bass baritone. But his mental illness kept him from ever getting anywhere big with all his talents. Life with Tommy wasn't always easy. But he was my brother and I loved him.
His widow and son are making the arrangements. His son is flying in from the west coast, away from the floods and fires there, to see his Dad a last time. I won't be going; but Billy and Mac will. Right now about all I can do is sit here and keep breathing.
For you, Tommy. With love.