I'm still having trouble talking about this, so please excuse if the language/structure seems... formal? Stilted? I just... this is very hard to talk about, otherwise.
So, about a week after my last post, I got a phone call from my mother, back in Michigan, at about 11:00 at night. I was elbow deep in washing dishes at the moment, so I didn't pick up the phone when it rang or see who it was, but after I'd dried off and saw that it was my mother, I knew that something was wrong. I'm quite used to getting calls from my family, as we're pretty close. I'm not used to getting calls at 11:00 at night, though. That's not how we do.
I immediately called her back, and I could tell by her voice that something very bad had happened. She informed me that my little brother had had another seizure, and had fallen and hit his head. That's all she could say. I knew this meant that he was either in a coma in the hospital, or worse. Finally, I asked, "Is there any chance he's going to be okay?"
"No. No, he isn't going to be okay."
I don't know how long we sat on the phone, and I don't really remember if we said much else. I know I said "I'm coming home" several times, but everything is sort of a haze. I remember feeling really numb, and thinking that I'd literally just talked to him a week or so earlier. We'd been making plans to play a game.
I learned later that it wasn't the fall that killed my brother, but that he probably had two seizures in rapid succession, and his heart stopped. None of us knew you could die from a seizure. I mean, we knew you could get hurt--he'd broken a bone once during a fall from a seizure. But that it could stop your hurt or lungs? I didn't know that.
I have a lot of things to say about the situation, but, like I said, it's really hard to talk about. And, honestly, I don't know how much else I have to say on here about that, anyway.
What I did want to do, openly, is thank everyone who helped me through this really difficult time. When I got that call, I gathered together a handful of clothes, and drove back to Michigan to be with my family, not knowing what I was going to do once I got there. I'm in school, and I was basically living paycheck to paycheck to get by. Originally, I'd been hoping to work full time during the winter break to build up a little bit of a cushion again. But, once I got back to Michigan, I just needed to be with my family.
Had it not been for the amazingly generous donations of a lot of people, I wouldn't have been able to do that. I've tried to thank everyone personally, but I wanted to make a public thank you, too. I don't know if people want their names named, so I won't unless they say otherwise, but I want to say that it meant the world to me that I was able to spend December with my family, and that it was mostly because of the generosity of the online community. People that I've never had the pleasure of meeting offline heard about what happened to my brother, and they sent donations to make sure that I could spend time with my family.
I know that money is really tight for a lot of people right now, and I know that there are probably lots of other ways that people could have spent their money, but... well, thank you all.