[For his Conventions Bloggers Wanted essay response, Fame Designer shared his thoughts about his family -- both in real life and his Destructoid one. Want to see your own words appear on the front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]
It was quite a while ago, because my brother was still alive. That means about ten years. We were having a sort of slumber party and we had already fallen asleep on different sides of the bed. I woke up because he accidentally rolled over on me and almost pushed me off the side. I felt the exhaustion come back. The kind that you feel when you've been drinking too much Mountain Dew and playing videogames until long after you're tired.
I turned to him to wake him up or just push him back over to his side. He must have been feeling especially affectionate because he gave me a hug instead. It was heartwarming and also somewhat sad. I asked him why, because he hadn't done that in a very long time. I was so tired that I missed out on his reply. I was actually having a hard time waking up.
I got the feeling that he had just missed me for some reason, and I just smiled and was happy to have a brother that looked up to me. I remember all of the times we had spent together, playing videogames and being perfectly content. I would often just lay there on the couch listening to the music of our favorite RPGs while he would grind for experience points.
His body twitched for a moment and he said, “This is it.” He said a few words about his terminal illness when he could find the strength. It was a warning for me to get help, and so I told him I would. I started to panic and I couldn't breathe. All I could do was get up and run out of the room to try and find a phone. At this point he was shaking violently. I ran as fast as I could. We had been expecting this. Hopefully it was just a seizure.
It was our old blue house, and I found my dad in the master bedroom getting ready for bed. He had no idea what was going on. I kept trying to tell him what was going on, but I couldn't get any words out. All of the stress was just tightening my throat. I made some weird gasping sounds, and my dad started pushing me out of the room, thinking I was joking with him. But I couldn't let him do it. I pulled on his hair and slapped him and hit him -- anything to get him to realize that I needed his help.
When he finally realized the gravity of the situation, he ran into my room and checked on my brother. I followed him into the room and saw my brother, propped up in a different position on the bed. My dad didn't do anything, and it was clear that my brother had passed on. He had positioned himself purposefully so that he could die seeing the night sky. His eyes were open and still.
This was a dream that I had last night. My brother passed away quite a while ago, like the dream suggests, but I never saw anything happen to him and he never had any terminal illness. I really hate that my brain tends to throw me into these types of dreams. But it does serve as a reminder to me:
Don't take things for granted. You'll miss the ones you love, so value the time that you have with them.
At the Destructoid PAX panel, I was reminded of what they said about family. They often talk about how if any one of their people was in trouble or needed something, that they would drop everything to help them out. I got that sense of family at the PAX panel this year. And I believe I have that same feeling for a lot of you that came to PAX.
Look at this picture. It's a family photo isn't it? It's a reunion for the friends I've made on here. I hope that we all strive to express ourselves fully on the forums, the cblogs, and in any other creative fashion so that we can get to know each other even more than we do now. Niero said something at the Destructoid panel that went something like this: "I didn't hire a bunch of people that were exactly like me." Which, he explained, was part of the success of Destructoid. I think that may explain a lot about why this site is so welcoming to a variety of people.
I walked up to Max Scoville to get an autograph during PAX. I tapped him on the shoulder and just asked for it. I guess I sort of didn't know what to expect. But he turned, and the first thing he said was, "What was your name?" I said it was Bret, because I was pretty sure he didn't know my Destructoid name. We shook hands and he signed my autograph book, but didn't stop there. He drew a whole picture of the Destructoid robot and it ended up being a werewolf version. I'm pretty sure he had no idea that my fiancee likes wolves and werewolves. I made him and his buddies miss the crosswalk signal, but they didn't care. Turns out he'd rather do something awesome for a fellow Dtoider.
I think that Destructoid as a whole has attracted many very decent human beings. Some of you -- and you should know who you are -- I think of as family. I think I knew this before the dream I had, but I think after experiencing that dream I know that I miss many of you as I would my own brother.
I think it needs to be said (again) that what we have in the Destructoid community is quite rare. It's one of those priceless things.