Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Letter To My Brother

Hey Matt, hows it going? Today has been a good day. Hubs didn't have duty, so he was able to stay at home with Little Miss while I did my couponing 'rounds. I did alot of "people watching" when I was out and about, especially when I was at WalMart. Man, some of the people that shop there are quite....entertaining to say the least. During my people watching today, it got me thinking. Every time I see a young teenaged guy, it reminds me of you. Well, maybe not every time, but most of the time there is something in these young kids that makes me think you. Its hard to put my finger on exactly, but its just the look or the expression on their faces. I don't know if its just teenage angst or what, but there is some quality that reminds me of you

You have led quite the opposite style of life than me. You have been involved with buying and selling drugs, stealing from family (myself included), friends, strangers, and a church. Your drug addiction goes all the way back to your high school years. I probably haven't seen you sober for 10 years now, however even in your drug addicted state I have witnessed a few moments of clarity. 

It would be so easy to just put you out of my mind and write you off as another junkie serving time in jail. But you are my brother, how can I just forget about the kid we used to put in dresses and feed dog food? My fondest memories growing up include you. Its just so hard to give up on you. It has been a process, learning how to love you from a distance. Letting you get close means making myself vulnerable to being hurt and let down because lets face it, kicking a drug addiction isn't easy. It has been over a decade and you still haven't cleaned up. You have been arrested, served time in jail, lost custody of your daughter, have lived on the streets, no life changing experience has caused you to kick the habit yet. And soon my nephew, your son, will be born. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't worry about my niece or nephew. Not that they are in any sort of danger right now, but its a worry about their future. Will your chaotic life cause me to miss my niece growing up? I feel like I have missed so much already. Little Miss often asks if we are going to see her cousin or asks if she can talk to her. I want nothing more than for them to grow up together, we grew up far away from all of our cousins so I would love for Little Miss to grow up surrounded by extended family. But because of your choices and addiction, it makes everything so much harder and much more complicated.

No amount of love from Mom, Dad, or any of the family has persuaded you to clean up. After becoming a parent myself, I began to understand why Mom & Dad have done so much for you and they still continue to do so. Unfortunately, in this situation I think the best love for you is tough love. Which is easier said than done. There is a difference between simply loving someone and enabling them, but its not an easily defined area. I want to offer so much to help. You need a place to stay while you get back on your feet? I have no problem, but when you stay for months, not look for a job, do illegal things and ask me to watch your kid anytime you decide to go out on a date (and by the way how are you paying for this date if you don't have a job or money to pay rent at a place of your own?)....see what I mean? How do I love you and help you without enabling you to make the same poor decisions that got you here in the first place?

When people ask me how old you are, I really want to say 14. That is about the last time I remember you being sober. Its before life at home got so complicated. I want to go back to that kid when he was 14 and just shake him, warn him, do something to prevent all the bad things that have happened since that age. I think that is why when I see a young teen boy, I see you. I want to see my brother before his eyes were clouded and bloodshot. When he wasn't edgy, anxious, and jittery. When he was honest. Man, I think I miss that the most, knowing when you were telling the truth.

The last time I saw you, you gave me a glimmer of hope. You stayed for me, you stayed for your daughter. I am going to hold onto that for as long as I can. I am hoping that you will allow the person that I know you are capable of being break through this addiction. 

Taking a hot chocolate break at the ski hill



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