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IHateSprouts tells us they once avoided getting caught up in an IRA bomb attack by missing a train. Tell us how you've dodged the Grim Reaper, or simply avoided a bit of trouble.

(, Thu 19 Aug 2010, 12:31)
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Three years ago I got a phone call out of the blue from my brother
To put it in context we get on fine but my brother almost never calls me, there is no animosity but we lead separate lives him up in Scotland and me down in London, we never talk about the meaning of life but have great shared sense of humour.

The only time we do talk is if there is something specific we want to ask and even then it was almost always me calling. Even at Christmas he would never pick up the phone to me.

Which was why when the phone rang with his name on the caller id and I heard his voice I was bit taken aback, Mrs N who was in the room at the time saw my reaction and I mouthed silently ‘it’s my brother’ with a quizzical expression’

We were just about to go out and meet some friends but I just felt it was important to take the time and just have a chat as this was so rare an occasion.

We chatted about things in general, how our children were what we were both up and a lot of what we watching that was making us laugh.
This went on for about an hour and at the end of the call I sensed there was something he wanted to say, but being him he never showed his emotion or admitted to any feelings about anything and we just skipped over it and said goodbye.

Mrs N immediately asked if everything was ok and this was so out of the blue, I just was left with the feeling that something wasn’t quite ok with him but was happy that he had called just to talk and left it at that.

A few days later my dad called and I mentioned him calling me up and he said ‘you don’t know how much that phone call meant’ and despite me pressing him on what he meant, he wouldn’t elaborate.

I left it at that and about a year later at a family party my parents came down to London from the little village they live in Scotland the same one as my brother and with a mixture of drink and emotion my mum told me what had happened.
Not being one to share a problem or deal with an issue, my brother had got himself into debt, a combination of a low paid job, a younger pretty wife with a spending habit and deperate not to lose her he had put his head in the sand and ignored the letters and demands till finally the bailiff had come round to repossess the house. He was out but my dad who has the same name and lives around the corner and they were directed there by the neighbours.

While this was going on my brother had gone to the woods to hang himself and that is when he called me, a final goodbye, and we had chatted about this and that having a laugh all the time not me not having a clue at what he had planned for himself when he finished the call.

My brother had disappeared and In the hour we talked my dad had found his suicide note and had sent out his 2 brothers in law and the police to try to find him and luckily one them did.

My dad had to plead with the bank and the creditors and promised he would pay the debt and avoid the eviction. They were actually very good and did everything they could within their rules to help as they see too many cases like this. They saved the house and my parents had to give their savings to pay it all off.

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had said I was on my way out or not even picked up the phone.
The amount of debt was about £9k, to consider suicide over that just leaves me bereft. Had I known and given a few days I could have paid it easily, but me being the younger brother and his stupid pride he couldn’t bring himself to ask.

He has not talked about it since, not a single word, and it’s as if it never happened to him but it’s all still bottled up.

Life is so full of things that hang on the flimsiest chances and opportunities, I’ve gotten over worrying about the choice I might have made a long time ago and am very glad that I did make the right one.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 0:52, 4 replies)

my family's a bit like that - not suicidal, but not very... forthcoming. I've given up on being taciturn since moving to the southwest, where things seem a lot more open and honest. I now have no problem with hugging the stupid lot of them, even though I know it makes them feel awkward - and the other habit of the SW, massive over-indulgence in booze, has given me the power to break down their barriers via the medium of alcohol whilst still remaining sufficiently compos mentis to remember their outpourings in the morning. Feels a lot healthier, aside from the hangovers...

Glad your bro's still on the right side of the turf.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 2:03, closed)
Nice work...
Sometimes all people need is to chat to someone who gives a damn. He's lucky to have you in his life.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 2:56, closed)
Your dad
Sounds like an excellent hooman bean who would go to any lengths to protect his kids.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 6:13, closed)

(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:01, closed)

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