My Brother

Clive Robert Langslow, the person I knew and loved as my brother. Clive is 15 years older than me bar one day. It’s complicated! It may be complicated but as a child I loved this man, in fact I more than loved him I adored him. I looked forward to the days he would come and visit. He would take me scrambling through the dirt tracks of bluebell woods on the back of his motorbike. We’d tear through the forest, navigating and going down and then up the deep ditches with me clinging on to him like a limpet for dear life. He would take me to the barbers when mum was working. He had a habit of turning up for a visit out of the blue. If no one else was at home I’d always make him something to eat and that was usually an omelette as that was all I knew how to do.

Later in life when I was a grown man there were times in his life I felt that I should be with him. I went to certain buildings with him to show my support when he found himself there for no reason of his own. As much as I loved my (brother) and I presume at the time the feeling was mutual we had an understanding that came from him. He said, I will always be there for you but I won’t interfere with your life or be in your pocket even though he was welcome to be there.

left to right: Me, dad Jim, my niece Anna and my brother Clive Robert Langslow in happier times.

Sadly, life is not a fairy tale and there is not always a happy ending and this is the case with Clive and me. I wish I knew what happened to turn him so venomously against me, and worst of all his mother. It hurts that the brother I knew and loved so much walked away from us and worst of all the woman who gave him life. (Our) mother was 91, she had become frail and was in out of hospital frequently in her final years. Eventually she realised that she needed to go to a care home as she could no longer physically look after herself though her mental capability was as good as ever, and asked for this to be arranged. It was during this period that Clive left the fold. It was heartbreaking. I couldn’t understand what had caused him to become so bitter. I listened to the phone conversation when he told his mother that he wanted nothing to do with her or me. she was devastated.

Sadly due to a prolonged illness Clive died. If it wasn’t enough that the man I loved as a brother had died while there was bad blood between us I had to break the dreadful news to mum and break her heart yet again. Now there was no chance of a reconciliation the grim reaper has ensured that the bad blood can never be cleansed.

Now that I am much older and wiser I can understand what made my loving brother become bitter and hateful towards us. I remember so many things from my childhood days and realise now that he was looking in from the outside when all along it should have been the other way round. This of course was something that was beyond my control and at the time, when I was a child, I didn’t understand or give thought to; but now I do.

My sister in law told me that I had never really been a brother to Clive. Maybe she was right but that stems back to what was said “I will always be there for you but I won’t interfere with your life or be in your pocket”.

On November 27th 2019 (our) mother passed away so now they are together again. I hope in death he is man enough to explain to mother his feelings and when I eventually join them I hope I find out too.

Can I forgive him? The answer to that is yes as now I can understand what he was going through all his life. As I previously mentioned it’s complicated and many in our family know the reason for that.

 

R. I. P Bro – I miss you