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I don’t normally post on Tuesdays, but since this post is a little off topic, I figured it fits.
So what happened? After all the bru-ha-ha, and the “we’re back!” announcement post, and the contest and all of that, Makeup to Go! stopped posting again. Well, as much as I am an advocate for the axiom “If you are ready, you do not have to get ready”, there are some things in life for which one just cannot ever “be ready”. On February 11, 2014 my brother Robert A. Russell lost his battle with cancer. Yep, the Big C. I know many of you reading this know this foe oh too well. It’s shocking. Shocking. Shocking. His battle only lasted about 6 months from the time of diagnosis, and I still cannot believe my brother is no longer here (in body). It would be impossible to explain who my brother was or what he meant in my life but suffice to say my life will never be the same.
Robert was a professional musician who at the height of his career played for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. When the High Life faded his love for music did not and he continued to play professionally as well as become a highly respected and loved music teacher. Teaching and a love for teaching is something he and I share in common. Like most of us Russell Kids, he caught the artist thread from our mom, but he also caught the scientific side from our Dad. Robert attended UCLA as an Engineering major and his last “job” job was working as a Project Manager for an industrial design/construction firm. In short, he was pretty darn brilliant.
As for our relationship, the Russell Clan runs tight, so even though he is 14 years older than me we were friends our entire lives. Growing up, Robert was often my Babysitter when my parents went away. As I got older he was the brother (I have 4 older brothers) who took me to my first restaurants, introduced me to revival house theatres, took me to “The Flaming Colossus” underground nightclub and then out to eat at the original Gorky’s afterwards, and generally sparked my love for The Night Life which still persists to this day. We had a lot in common personality wise and a lot not in common. We were very close and – I suppose like all siblings – sometimes we got on each others’ very last nerve. LOL!
“I’ll miss him” does not even say it. I will miss our holidays together and the family jam sessions (we’re all musicians, I’m a singer). I will miss our long conversations about life and spirituality (Robert and I are both “seeker” types). I will miss talking about the Lakers. He made me the Lakers fanatic that I am and in fact if Russell Family Folklore is to be believed, “Kareem Abdul Jabbar” were amongst my first words spoken thanks to Robert. I will miss his corny jokes and the fact that we did not share taste in movies AT. ALL. LOL! I will miss the fact that 44 years of life together is over, but I will forever be grateful for those 44 years.
It has been hard re-mounting the wagon over the last
2 weeks (Month. I’ve seriously lost track of time…) , but as they say The Show Must Go On. About a week after his passing I went back to work and I was a bit of a zombie, but I made it through. I am very blessed to have had the support of a large community of family, friends, clients AND readers. Thank you all. Every word has made a difference. Hopefully Makeup to Go will not be making another post like this again, like EVER.
One of my other brothers – Gar – publishes the essay blog The Gar Spot. He published his tribute to Robert yesterday, you can take a read here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
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