So I’m cruising along life’s highway, trying to get the bills caught up, spending time with my family, constantly forgetting to pay the electric and trash, and BAM! A phone call to let me know my brother had a stroke and is in the hospital getting tests done. My brother is about 11 years older than me, so he became a state trooper when I was 9. I remember how proud I was at his graduation when he walked across the stage in his dress uniform. I would brag to all my friends that MY BROTHER was a state policeman, the best in the state. I also remember the meetings we had to have as a family with other troopers who made sure we were prepared should we ever get the call. If you have family in law enforcement or the military, you know THE CALL. (Cue ominous music of doooom.) Anytime I would get a phone call in the middle of the night, anytime someone started a conversation with, “Your brother R,” anytime we couldn’t get hold of him, I would prepare myself for the words. Lately, he’s been having a pretty rough time of it. He just had a baby in July (number four), who’s been diagnosed with failure to thrive. They’ve had to drive him to AI DuPont hospital, get specialty formula, the works. I know his stress has been at an all time high, and he shoulders it all in silence. He has never been one to complain about his circumstances or want a lot of attention. When he had a knee surgery a few years ago he didn’t want visitors or anyone coddling him. He’s just that way. So, when I got the phone call last night I was certain I was going to hear the words, either about him or the baby. It was actually a relief to hear that it was a stroke. How weird is that? I was grateful that was all it was. R is only 42, in great shape, runs marathons, eats better than anyone I know, and still this got him. I just don’t even know what to think right now.