Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 28

you—and my brother, and our friends. Your dementia At once good-natured, yet spiteful. Kind, but sometimes has gotten a bit worse, and my scan and blood work in harsh in his judgement of others. Loving, though never September were a tiny bit concerning—so Lord only knows able, himself, to feel fully satisfied that others loved him what will be next year—but thankfulness reminds me to quantitatively enough to fulfill his own great need. keep my mind on the present time. Mal possessed above-average intelligence – yet he could Thank you, Mom, for the gift of your presence when I seldom balance his own checkbook. He wrote observations needed it most—I hope my presence has likewise been a about our lives in journals from childhood to adulthood help to you. – but his perspective as he detailed those lives was often colored by his mercurial nature. Mal was quick to anger and slow to forgive – but without hesitation, he consistently Mal Schoen was a life-long journal writer, voracious reader, and vegetarian. He enjoyed meals out with friends, movies, and shopping for bargains. Mal was long a fixture in his Menlo Park, California neighborhood, book in hand, as he sought out a quiet, sunny spot in which to read. In February 2018, Mal lost his five-year struggle against metastatic colon cancer. laid bare his vulnerabilities to friends and strangers alike with wide-open arms and an unassailable wide-eyed trust. No one could make me more angry than my brother. And I allowed no one to break my heart as easily, or as often, as he. When I look at photographs and old home movies now, I see Mal, me, and our sister, Amy, smiling, laughing, playing together like a small litter of kittens. Our family moved often in the early years of our lives, so we were One Journey’s End By Gary Schoen always the new kids on the block and in the school. Mallory Schoen has been my older brother for my entire a foundation of affection, faith, and loyalty. life. Only twenty months separate us, one from the other. At various points in our journey together, we have been Consequently, we were also always each other’s closest friends, an interdependent triad – a united front – built on Paradoxically, we struggled our whole lives to retain – but confidants, partners in crime, mortal enemies. in some ways to break away from – the strong ties formed We shared a bedroom until I was fourteen, and he fifteen. Yet Amy and I are here today, with and for Mal, more As youths, Mal’s keen mind kept me reaching ever upward because one of our litter mates is missing. Missed. as I attempted to emulate his canny knack for creative expression – and the depth of his capacity for warehousing arcane knowledge. Sometimes at odds, sometimes giggling together like schoolgirls, we shared our lives as brothers often do – in childhood that bound us so tightly together as adults. aging cats now than boisterous kittens, licking our wounds Our mother has lost her first-born child. An inconceivably cruel blow. But she is strong and she is not alone. We shall help her. Like me, Mal possessed a Bachelor’s Degree in English, friends, adversaries, friendly nemeses… in his case from the State University of New York at Stony And today I stand here, too soon beside what will be Mal’s it brought with it connections to people with whom he felt final resting place, trying, finally, to piece together the complexities of the puzzle that was my brother. 28 Brook. He enjoyed his college experience immensely – and forever linked.