Thursday, September 8, 2016

Daniel, My Brother...

My youngest brother died. I got the call on September 8th, hours after he was found. No one knows how long he had been gone already.  It was drugs. Damned drugs. My dad would prefer we not talk about it. He tells everyone it was a heart attack... even everyone who knows. He doesn't feel it's right to speak ill of the dead. It makes me sad that telling the truth is equated with speaking ill. My brother was a precious, beautiful, precocious child. His future was bright with hope, joy, and talent. He had a predisposition to alcoholism, which kicked in with his first innocent sips of a  Thanksgiving toast as a child. Then a monster took advantage of his weaknesses and introduced him to heavy drugs and abuse while he was still a child. How things would have been different if I had known. But I didn't know. No one knew.

A monster stole my brother's life. One. Then others.

But there were angels too... who tried to help.

I won't lie to try to make myself look like a saint. I had nothing to do with my brother for the last 7 years of his life. If you've loved an alcoholic and/or a drug addict, you know it is hell. I had to choose, and I chose my kids. I would do the same again a thousand times. It was the right thing. But I never stopped loving him. I never stopped praying for a miracle. I never stopped having compassion for an illness he never asked for. It was never his choice.

Many times I felt as though my brother died a long time ago. It still felt that way on September 8th. But as we laid this man to rest, somewhere... somewhere inside that coffin, hidden inside of that corpse... was my baby brother. And God, I loved him.
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