Sometimes a rainbow springs up when you least expect it. A blast of ethereal colours hanging in the sky. Often the best are those that appear from a stormy grey sky, something changing, bright and unexpected.
I saw my brother on Saturday. I always cram in as much as possible when I go East to visit Mum, this time I'd arranged to meet Colin for a drink and supper before I'd go on to stay with my friend Madge.
He wasn't in great form, a bit morose, distracted, not full of jolly chat. He looked uncomfortable, lines etched upon his face and had a determination to blot out the day via the great British pint. I tried to pry, to find out what was wrong, but was deflected by "Have another one". I left feeling uneasy and horribly judgemental, thinking "why is he doing this to himself?".
Then last night the phone rang and I heard his voice. My heart plummeted, I took a deep breath. "I got test results today, I'm all clear of the cancer, it's been a year now". Release of breath, short gasps, tears spring to eyes. Oh god he's held this to himself, worried all weekend knowing these results were coming on Monday. He didn't share his fears, he kept them inside and did his best to drown his worries and hold hard to the edge of hope. What right did I have to judge, none whatsoever. A lesson learned. Dear bro you teach me all the time.
So sometimes a rainbow appears out of the blue, or the grey or anywhere. A piece of joy, a light in life. It's been a year, a long one, a hellish one for him. He is clutching joy today and possibly his head in celebration hangover.