I’ve had a very strange week. I moved out of my apartment in Brooklyn and back in to my parent’s house on Monday. I started a new job on Tuesday. I was starting over, again, for like the fifth time since I graduated last May.
But then something else happened on Monday. My older brother’s best friend from high school didn’t wake up on Monday morning. He’d struggled with many demons since they finished high school, not the least of which was serious drug and alcohol abuse. He’d just left rehab a week earlier, and Mike (my brother) said he seemed confident and happy to be clean.
I’m not going to speculate on Darrell’s state when he died. That isn’t the point. I’ve had a lot of trouble forgiving him for the pain he’s put my brother and their other friends through in the past ten years, and now I’m really worried about my big brother.
Mike’s path hasn’t been easy. When he was not yet nineteen he sustained a back injury that took his one real passion, playing football, from him. After that he fell in to a haze of depression and failed out of school. That Christmas, my father’s younger brother, Mike’s godfather dropped dead of a heart attack. To make matters worse, his best friend from childhood, and the one person who no matter what was always able to get through to him, Lacey, was killed when a truck hit her bicycle the next June.
It took Mike years to find his footing after that one awful year. His injury proved to be the thing that did it. He now has a passion for physical therapy, and sports injury rehabilitation, and has been working for a physical therapy practice as an aid and trainer for the past three years. He’s back in school, and his life seems to be going well.
But his two oldest friends are dead. And he isn’t even thirty yet. There’s something fundamentally wrong in that, and Mike has never dealt well with wrong.
People who know me know that I have a difficult relationship with my brother. I love him very much, but we butt heads constantly. We’re the same in all of the bad ways and different in all of the bad ways too. I want to help him, and there for him, but I know the only way to do that is to keep my mouth shut. Because otherwise we’re just going to end up screaming at each other.
This is where God provided. I woke up on Tuesday morning with a soar throat and no voice. I could barely croak. After a few glasses of water and a tea I was able to form speak very softly and with a lot of strain. Luckily my new job doesn’t require a lot of talk.
I’ve been praying constantly for my brother, for the repose of Darrell’s soul and for the comfort to the people that love him. I’d ask you all to send your prayers too. Because right now, not having a voice, all I can do is send love and prayers. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to send love, always.