Goodbye Brother

My brother Doug died last. He was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer late in 2017.

Please excuse the language, but #fuckcancer. Do what you can to help fight cancer. Raise funds, donate, or make sure you get the appropriate checkups at the appropriate times.

I can’t believe that my marathon-running world traveler brother is gone before reaching 50. I will miss the sock pictures. We all will miss the sock pictures.

He leaves behind Ann – a wonderful, brave, strong wife, and their two amazing kids – Will and Maggie. My heart is broken for them. I know they will find their way though, but I hate that they have to.

I was privileged to spend a few days with him in the hospital last week as he realized that there would be no more chemo, no more recovery from the surgery, and no more trips home. His pragmatic courage throughout these precious few difficult days was equal parts inspiring and soul-crushing.

As he struggled to find peace in giving up the fight, there were many short periods where he closed his eyes deep in thought, while drumming his fingers on his collarbone or chest. During one of these, he sighed deeply and said “I wonder what it’s like on the other side.”

I waited a moment, and then said, “It’s probably like Walloon Lake.”

He replied, “Yes, but without the parasites” and we had a good laugh, thinking back to our 2014 trip to Walloon with our cousins, where many of us left with hand foot and mouth disease.

I said, “No, I mean the Walloon where our parents did all the drinking, where your dad could still throw you into the lake, where we could buy into all the drama of a hike to Treasure Mountain.”

“Uncle Dick could dive underwater and tie off the boat of those drunk people with the pontoon boat.”

And so it went for a few minutes, quietly trading the memories of the magical Walloon trips of our childhood.

“Yeah, maybe something like that.”

See you at the lake Doug – my brother, and my friend. I am so glad you were my brother, and I am so sad you are gone.

Mackinac Island 2014

Mackinac Island 2014

Walt Disney World Fall 2008

DC Visit February 2004

Christmas 1993

Rick & Chris Wedding

Christmas 1980

Doug Albion CC 1988

Maine 1988

Doug State Track Finals

Doug Track 1988

Family 1983

August 1977

Walloon Lake 1972

Family 1977

Doug Baptism

Family 1977

Cross Country 1985

Doug Birthday 1987

Park City Ski Trip 1983

Colorado Trip Summer 1982

England/Scotland/Wales 1984

Fall 1982

Summer 1980

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  1. 1

    Ted, The photos of Doug and you through the years are fabulous to see. What a fabulous relationship the two of you obviously have had. Life can certainly be unfair – – and Doug’s passing is a prime example of that. He is an incredible loss to his family, as well as to everyone who knew him and/or worked with him. I send my deepest sympathy to the entire family. Thinking of you, Carolyn Aishton Ouderkirk

  2. 3

    My heart weeps to hear of Dougs passing. May your words be a comfort to Jan and the family as they were to me.
    Nancy Hanson

  3. 5

    No words, really. So sorry for all you guys have had to deal with. Unfair and agree 1,000% with the hashtag. I do want to hear the story about the Ferrari though…

    Hugs from the Giovanelli’s. We’re keeping an eye on your mom. If you need us to do anything, send up the Batsignal anytime. 24/7.

  4. 7

    I’m so sorry to your whole family for your loss. We lost my brother Todd (who was one of Doug’s childhood friends) earlier this year. It’s hard to comprehend but I’m happy for you that you had the opportunity to share memories and say goodbye in a meaningful way. God bless you all.

  5. 9

    Ted, Tommy McDonald here. So sorry for your loss. Our family feels the same about Up North as you & Doug did. Take care of yourself and Go Blue!

  6. 11
  7. 13

    Ted…I dont know you personally but I know your Mom (and Dad) and I think you may have known our daughter, Amanda. I just wanted you to know that you have shared a beautiful tribute to your brother…i know your Mom and Dad are so proud of both of you…You have a lot of wonderful memories and photos that you will have forever…all priceless. And keep writing…you have such a gift! Jan and Cary Riggs

  8. 15

    Ted-My heart breaks for you and your whole family. What a wonderful tribute you created to your brother. Cherish those memories, be strong for your mom, and for Ann, Will, and Maggie. Take good care of yourself and hold your family close. They are all so precious.
    Treasa Skiles

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