Sunday, January 29, 2012
Happy Birthday Dave-I Miss You Brother
Dear Dave, I've been thinking about you more than usual lately because you would've turned the big "50" on January 8. It's hard to fathom you've been gone for ten years already. I've been trying to write you for some time but I guess I wasn't ready until now. So many feelings come up in me and I think of what you could have been if it wasn't for that insidious disease that crippled you and took your mind, body and soul prisoner.
We were very close in childhood and well into our twenties. You, Laura and I, pretty much did everything together because you were only a year older. The three of us even looked alike and had many things in common, especially our love of music. Laura and I loved when you called us on stage to sing with you and the band. That is, until alcohol started to pull us apart. Your drinking changed you. Your sweetness, charm, intelligence and incredible talents started to fade away as your alcoholism progressed. You even turned your back on your beloved passion and true love of your life. The guitar was always a part of you and when you put it away, I knew you were losing your greatest joy in life. To me, this was when I knew you were giving up and alcohol was winning the battle.
Those last ten years of your life were painful for you and difficult for loved ones to watch. I will never forget the night I was watching the local news and there you were. Your mug shot reflected a sad man that had lost his soul. Your physical body was there but your true being had gone somewhere else. Your eyes were now hollow and desperate. You were driving home from your job at the airport after putting in a full day. You were pulled over because of reckless driving and given a breathalyzer test. Your blood alcohol was a shocking 4.3 The police found luggage in your back seat that you'd stolen from baggage claim. I remember getting phone calls from friends, family and past acquaintances. Many who called were callous and insensitive and asked if I was embarrassed about your latest escapade. I told them in no uncertain terms that I was not embarrassed, just grateful that my brother was still alive." I knew then as I'd known for years, that this disease had a hold on you and may cause you to die early, just like mom. You tried sobering up and voluntarily entered treatment three times but you'd eventually succumb to your craving and addiction for alcohol.
Your roommate of many years, finally had enough. She kicked you out, knowing she was enabling you and your drinking. She was in love with you, even though she knew you weren't in love with her. For you, she was a friend and a place to lay your head. She would fill the refrigerator with beer and make sure to keep it restocked to keep you happy. It was a toxic and co-dependent relationship yet she found the courage and strength to let it go.
You now found yourself living on the streets and eventually moved into a homeless shelter. Several months later you qualified for a place to live. It was a stable apartment downtown, serving those who were deemed homeless.
I received the dreaded call I'd always feared would come. It was your older sister, wailing on the other end, trying to get the words out. "A policeman just came to my door Linda. He is dead, David is dead."
No one had seen or talked to you in a few days and became worried. When the landlord walked into your apartment, he saw you lying in bed. You were fully dressed, you even had your shoes on. You died due to an overdose of oxycontin and alcohol. You were thirty-nine years old, the same age mom died of alcoholism.
Our cousin Mike told us at the funeral that he bumped into you, just a week before you died. He had no idea the healing he provided, telling us that you'd recently taken out your guitar again. I believe God knew you needed to play before you died.
P.S. I know we didn't talk much those last years but it was too painful for me. I had to set limits and take care of myself, especially when you'd call me drunk and get verbally abusive. I know now that your in heaven, you understand why I had to sever ties. I loved you David, it was the behavior from the addiction I hated. I dream of you often and like having that time with you. In my dreams, your healthy as a horse and not addicted to alcohol. It's just you and me, the way we used to be before you got so sick.
P.S.S. I love you and miss you brother. Happy 50th birthday.
© 2012 Linda Rogers