Friday, July 19, 2013

Ten Years

It's been ten years.

The other day, I walked into a downtown Wendy's to kill 20 minutes and try and relax.

I looked forward and almost missed him. His back was arched and his arms were too skinny. His face was gaunt and his eyes were shifting everywhere. He had shoved himself flush with the wall. He was hiding in plain sight. Whenever I would lower my eyes, I could hear him talking. I couldn't hear him, but I knew he was talking to me.

I know that it costs about $3 for a spice joint.

He asked me for $2 for the bus.

I bought him a frosty and some chicken nuggets.

I was violently composed in the restaurant.

I fell a part in the car and let the sobs break through my composure.

Ten years ago, my brother died in Salt Lake City after overdosing on heroin.

Ten years ago, my brother was that man.

The only comfort I have right now is that at least he's dead.

I know that's a horrible thing to say, but there are worse things than death.

But after ten years, what could have been? Could he be better now? Could he have overcome his demons and gone on to live a fulfilling life? That's what breaks my heart. Life offers all of us redemption, sunrises, cleansing rain. But he's dead.

What have I done in ten years? It's been ten years. How have I honored the privilege of redemption, the hope of sunrise, the joy of cleansing rain?  Where are the rest of us now?

I've done a lot, met a world of people, been a lot of places--but it feels like nothing today. It just feels like I'm the same sad girl who lost her brother ten years ago.

Anniversaries suck sometimes.

Today I'm grateful for life. I am grateful for the opportunity to be better at it than I have been. I'm grateful that I have tomorrow to start being better. Today, I am just going to breathe, remember, cry, and try and take advantage of the privilege of living.

I promise I'll write something less depressing about Jack on his birthday in a few weeks. 


Joseph L. Puente said...

I didn't find this depressing at all. It was sobering, thoughtful and brave.

Eve said...

Thank you. I'm just trying to ride the line between genuine and grateful today.

Olpmet Ssecnirp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olpmet Ssecnirp said...

Have I ever told you how much you mean to me?
Well, there you go.
Thank you for who you were, who you are, and who you will become.
I am grateful for YOU.

Heidi said...

I sometimes think about you and your brother, and what a devoted sister you are. He was a good one.

Eve said...

Heidi! I remember doing Hello Dolly with you! That's where we met! Good memories. Olpmet--I'm afraid I don't know who you are. Feel free to private message me at if you feel like revealing yourself.

Anonymous said...

you are an amazing person, Eve. You have been through much, and that, I believe, is part of what makes you amazing. thinking of you!

Eve said...

Sylinda, thank you. That means a lot. It's depressing that despite my desire to write a more positive blog, you picked up on that... but hey! Life is still pretty good!