Andrew Rhodes Bourland (1955 – 2009)

February 16, 2009

My brother Andy died this morning.

Andy had cancer when he was 17, and the radiation therapy that saved him in 1971, slowly took his life away over the last few years. He checked into a hospice in December. That act alone let us all know he was ready. Even when he was at the hospice, he had a hard time deciding to die. His doctors said then as they always have: his urge to stay alive kept him alive. Looking into the faces of his children made it difficult to leave. [Funny simultaneity: Andy’s son just texted me and we chatted, er texted.]

Andy and I always had a deal: whoever died first, the dead one would do something to say that they were on the other side; like stopping a clock. Andy and I revisited that promise a few months ago. He didn’t remember the stopping the clock part, but remembered that we would send a sign.

This morning, after I gathered my thoughts, I decided to write this post. I couldn’t access my blog. I panicked. I checked other websites on the same server and they were all working. I tried my website. It wasn’t working. I tried another browser, no luck. I restarted my computer, no deal. My blog was unavailable. Dead.

Not knowing what else to do, I texted Daniel who said it was working just fine. I called it up again, and there it was.

Hmmmm. You there, Andy?

[Photos by Roger Bourland: top, Andy in Palm Spring, 2000; bottom, Andy in Lincoln, Nebraska, 1974.]

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