Time As A Measuring Stick

Everyone measures the passage of time differently.  Some acquaint it with milestones, some with anniversaries of events, some measure it with simple glances at the calendar relative to January 1st.  I have often said that life isn’t necessarily short and a lot of that statement has to take into account what you have done with and in your lifetime.  Granted, in the grand scheme of things and from a statistical standpoint, our lives are pretty short when compared to the cosmos, the universe, this planet, or even the time in which the United States has been a country.

At the age of 49, I have already had many things happen to me in my lifetime that most people never experience.  Weird things, very bad things, very good things, plainly, a lot of things.  So to me, my life has seemed pretty long.  I have accomplished almost everything I have ever wanted to do with my life.  Some things I know I’ll never do but there are still some items I want to cross off my list before I leave this place.  No, it’s not a bucket list (I HATE that term).  It’s a Life List.

Today is Sunday, July 22, 2012.  I am measuring time today because it is the one year anniversary of my brother David passing away.  As I sit back and reflect on it all, I am surprised how fast this last year has gone by.  Maybe it’s because I can still clearly see every moment of that day at the hospital, watching my brother’s life slip away until it was completely over.  Maybe it’s because I have made it a point to look at his picture every day since then and say hello to him and tell him I miss him.  Maybe it’s because there have been so many times since he’s passed that I’ve wished I could pick up the phone and call him and catch up and ask him for his advice.

Then I have to remind myself that he’s not coming back, and I pick myself up and remind my brain that I have to keep moving on, keep pushing forward, and keep living my life, incorporating all of those memories I’ve built over time, all of the relationships and all of the knowledge I’ve accumulated.  That’s called living life, I suppose.  But I mark time in many different ways every single day.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people ask someone if they remember where they were when JFK was shot, or if they remember what they were doing when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.  But today I’m marking time in honor of my fallen brother with some of the things we did together that helped shape my life as it is now…

  • The cool fall day in 1979 when the two of us were in the front yard for hours and he taught me how to run pass patterns and catch a football correctly.  That day he gave me the confidence I needed to take on things I wasn’t so sure I could handle.
  • A Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1978 when he took me out for a ride in his 1967 Mustang on Walton Boulevard in Rochester Hills, Michigan.  When I saw the speedometer hit 120 mph it gave me one of the greatest rushes of my life!
  • The day in 1990 when I called him to tell him my then-wife hit me over the head with a frying pan after dumping a scalding hot pot of spaghetti sauce on my naked chest and in my lap because she was too drunk to stop constantly abusing me.  He advised me what to do that day, and he helped me make one of the best decisions of my life.
  • A day in 1997 filled with personal panic when I faced some pretty serious legal problems, and his simple advice to me was, “Fuck ’em all!”  Simple advice, but it meant more to me than just those three words in print.
  • Every Christmas Day speaking to him on the phone.  He was usually outside (in Florida) and having a ball with his grandkids.  His grandkids lit him up like a Christmas tree itself and the pride that sprung from his voice let me know that he was doing well and enjoying his life.
  • The day before and the day of my wedding, 1997.  Just being near him and having the entire family together in one place was the best gift I could have ever received.
  • July 21, 2011, the day before he died.  I was the first family member to arrive at the hospital.  His first words to me were, “I knew you’d be the first to get here.”  Of course I was – he was my favorite brother and he meant so much to me.  For four hours that afternoon, as he was in and out of consciousness, we retraced all of our steps, from how he took care of and looked out for my twin brother and me after we were born all the way forward to the phone call we shared the day before.
  • July 22, 2011, holding his hand as he struggled for each breath in his hospital bed, looking into his eyes and telling him it was ok to just let go.

Today I raise a toast to my brother David and I dedicate this day to his memory.  I know he is in a better place and I know he’s looking out for me and keeping me safe.

David Bunge        September 10, 1957 – July 22, 2011

Leave a comment


  1. Debbie

     /  July 22, 2012

    Those are great memories, may they always bring you peace and joy.

  2. elliott porter

     /  July 22, 2012

    KDAWG…this was very touching, i lost my only brother (WILLIAM JOSEPH (JOEY) PORTER on May 10th, 2007…he was my younger brother and he died in a hospital from MRSA (staph infection)…we were not close growing up as we were totally opposite, but he was told he had lung cancer and he refused to have a biopsy (which we now know would have saved his life, because he unknowingly had mrsa)…during his last months, we became closer and it was so hard for me to watch him die….i miss him and will always love him, so i know what u r feeling….take care and God Bless!

    • KDawg

       /  July 23, 2012

      Thanks for sharing your story, Elliot. Memories are always a good thing, Hold them close to you always!


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