I never thought his depression would get to the point of an O.D. I stood shaking angled behind my brother, all I could see were his hands clenched into fist as if he was ready to explode. My parents stood there trying to comfort him, trying to calm him down and talk some sense into him, but he wouldn’t have any of it. He grabbed his keys and threatened my parents to stop him as he walked out the door. My dad was about to grab him when his back was finally to them, and that was when I chose to scream ‘NO’ and Nick took off running. I raced out the front door and was in front of Nick’s car before my parents got out of the garage, just as he was starting the engine. I raced to the front of the car as my brother started backing out of the driveway. I screamed at him words that I don’t now remember, but what I did remember was; him looking up from the steering wheel and staring me straight in the eyes –how I’ll never forget those eyes- and pulling the keys from the ignition. He slowly open and the door and stood next to his car. His stoned eyes now producing tears. ‘Take me to the hospital’ and my dad ran to him and we went to the hospital. The ride there I prayed, when we got there my brother sat in a wheelchair and my dad rolled him in.
In the waiting room my dad paced, my mom choked back tears, and I sat unsure of what was going to happen next. I wasn’t aware of the time but after what seemed liked hours passed a doctor came out, and the expression on his face was one you hope to never see.
“Mrs. Keis,” he said to my mom, but she didn’t look.
He sat down next to her. “ We need you to go say good-bye to your son,” the tears came. “His heart is going to stop anytime, and we want you to say goodbye while you can.”
I don’t know what happened, my dad called my aunt and I waited with a doctor until she came and picked me up. I remember talking to God the whole ride there telling him to let my brother know I’ll miss him all the times he’s not there and I needed him and regardless I loved him no matter what.
My mom came to get me at two in the morning. I hadn’t slept and heard her and my aunt talking in the living room. ‘His heart had stopped’ my mom was said ‘They had the papers ready to sign.’ There was a pause, the kind that happens in a scary movie when you think the bad stuff is over and then a guy in a mask grabs you. ‘And then the machine beeped and they shocked him with the defibrillator. I didn’t understand at the moment what everything meant. I’ll I knew was that my brother was dead but for some reason when God heard my prayer and gave my brother back to me. This was his first step in moving forward.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.