Good night, sweet prince

Amir Abramovich, Sep 1980 - Dec 2010

What can you say when you cry? When your whole world gets torn apart with a single phone call? When one of the people you love most is killed in an accident. And how is it an accident that my brother is now dead?

My little brother, my beloved brother was killed today, riding his motorcycle.

Just as I arrived at work I got a call from my dad back home. He had terrible news, he said. I though something happened to mum, or to my aunt. But the devastating news was that my brother was killed just a few hours earlier.

And your life will never be the same again.

A few words about Amir, and the sort of person he was.

A Phd student for biology, with an scholarship few get. Yes, he was smart. No, he was smarter. He just started his MBA. But he was much smarter. So smart, and funny and good hearted that no university degree can be given for that. A golden boy who lived his life his own way. He knew what he wanted, and he did just that. Sometimes he made me mad. Furious. He seemed to live, sometimes, in a bubble.

Yet, he was as down to earth as they come. He rode his motorbike, and he did it carefully. Because he was very cautious. He always thought before he did things. A very conscientious guy. He turned vegetarian at the age of 8, once he understood where the chicken on his plate came from. He continued with this when he went to the Army. He joined a supporting team rather than a combat one. As he understood the importance of being part of the national army, of contributing his dues to society.

In the lab, as a researcher he avoided anything that involved animals. I recall taking to him about it, and his problem with even conducting experiments with mice embryos. He wouldn’t of-course.

Amir was my riding partner when he lived with our parents, and I lived in Israel. As my younger brother he had to outlast me on the up-hills. Regardless of how out-of-shape he was – he’d push on until I stopped, and then continued for just a few yards, just to prove the point. He outlasted his older brother. Being the stupid one, I’d get away from him on the down-hills.

Amir knew everything. I consider myself one with great knowledge and amazing beauty. Yet he took that, and raised that further. Even his English was better, spelling wise.

As the young one, he was the most-protected by our parents. My sister was put to the best of what soviet/spartan upbringing had. I had a good taste of that, but to a lesser extent. Hence she will survive zero degrees water, eat through camel fur and climb a mountain using her teeth. Amir? Amir was gentle. When he helped me move house, because of course he would, he washed his hands 1000 times. He took plenty of showers just to rinse himself of the sweat he endured.

When I fell in-love with running, I tried to get him to run too. Initially he objected, but after a few beers more he realised the benefits and started to run. I was eager to run with him. Because I knew that though I’d be in a better shape that he’ll beat me, and it would a joy to chat. Because you could always talk to him. He was a great listener.

 

The picture is taken on a ski trip he took with my parents, sister and her family. I couldn’t join with mine. Snowboarding was his thing. He taught me to snowboard. “Here Az, don’t go on the flat – you need a bit of downhill to learn”. And promptly pointed me in the direction of a proper slope, with ice. One broken rib later I was a snowboarder, and went to the big mountain. Where again he pointed me at the right directions. Downwards. Three days – and I was a snowboarder. Who promptly hit his elbow, cracked two more ribs on the other side, and went back to skiing.

Somehow Amir discovered his courage on that mountain. It was like he’s changed. He jumped with his board and did all sorts. Including one really stupidly huge jump. It was like we traded places for a bit.

On the last day we came to a place on the mountain that we’ve recognized. A place we noted a few days earlier as a little jump. Basically a terrace. We remembered it, and we remembered the shape of the slope. So Amir went first. I was a long way back, and was a bit surprised to see him jump, and disappear. After a while I guessed it was the fog and I just went for it. This being a terrace, it wasn’t uniform. First time we saw it, it was about 50cm high. But this time we’ve hit it a few hundred meters up. It was 3m high. As I was falling down, into the inevitable crash, I spotted my younger brother laughing. We both laughed. I asked him why didn’t he warn me. “To miss this? you’re nuts”.  By-standers couldn’t understand the two idiots who have just crash landed, yet laugh.

We were a close bunch. Getting closer as the years went by, as there are almost nine years between us. Our parents took their sweet time. But boy, was it worth it!

Goodbye my younger brother. Nothing will fill in the void. But the many many friends you had will never forget you. I will take this pain with me to my grave, with the only consolation that you didn’t suffer, when that lady hit you from behind, because you were too careful and wouldn’t speed like the rest of them.

Good night sweet prince!

I don’t want to say goodbye, but soon tomorrow will arrive, and we’ll board the plane, the whole family and fly to Israel. Not to visit you, but to put you in the ground, where I wouldn’t be able to laugh at your receding hairline, or the fact I am taller (and fatter) than you.

It is so wrong.

I miss you so much, though we only spoke yesterday.

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