Friday, January 18, 2013

For My Brother

My dear brother,

We haven't been very close since we were kids. Heck, even then we weren't close, as in sharing secrets and conspiring together. Part of that was just you being a boy and me being a girl. We had our sibling spats. And I was a goody-goody two shoes compared to you. Getting good grades (except for the inevitable Bs in math) came easily to me, whereas you had to struggle for Cs. I didn't ask Lois to compare you to me but she did it anyway. In retrospect that was unfair. What was it Einstein said? We're all geniuses... but if you judge an elephant by his ability to climb a tree, you're going to think the elephant is stupid.

Then we were separated: you off to the Virginia Home for Boys, she having convinced a judge you were a delinquent (hardly. But being put in there got you labeled as one); and me, shortly after, to foster care, my having convinced a judge she was an unfit parent. The abuse was unbearable. Neither of us was safe in that household and we were both better off out of there.

So life conspired to make us never tight as some siblings are tight. We dipped into and out of each other's lives on occasion but have never really depended on each other in any serious way. I've always thought you were a sweet guy--not a mean bone in your body. But like me, I guess I've always known you were an alcoholic, because you drank just like me, going on benders. I remember Raye setting her foot down, insisting you drink only on days you didn't have to work. That seemed to keep things well enough in check for you. I know there were times you wanted to quit drinking. Just never really stuck.

Of course, drinking with Type 2 diabetes is asking for trouble, but you know that. You always joked about "the Luck men" and how they die in their 50s. Okay, so now you're 52. Now you're in the hospital with your second incident of diabetic ketoacidosis, and you finally quit drinking this past August. So, big brother, why aren't you better?

Maybe the MRI will tell us more. Maybe you got a concussion when you fell and hit the floor. Maybe, like Steve, you had a stroke. I pray the part of you that's absent now is just floating in the ether, waiting to rejoin that body in the bed. It's not your time, big brother. I know what you went through with Raye and I know you don't want to put your wife and the rest of us through that. But guess what. We want you to. We're hurting already and we'd hurt a million times more just to have you hang on longer. We don't want you to fall away. No, we'd much rather you return to your senses and get better and thumb your nose at the Luck family curse.

It does mean getting some exercise and eating right and staying sober. I can help with the sober part. Maybe you're worried I'll submit you to unending lectures and insist you go to AA. I promise you I won't. After being sober for over three years, I can tell you that all that's really needed for sobriety is faith of some kind. It's the faith that brings you peace and comfort and removes the desire to drink. Otherwise, not drinking is just white-knuckling it through your days and nights. Trust me when I tell you that YOU have a purpose for being here; you are one of God's many wonders; you were not meant to leave us so soon. You still have so much to give. I'm here to tell you that now is the time to really start living. You have a loving wife who needs you.

So.... come back to us. You are blood of my blood. I promise to be a better little sister, not the standoffish snot I've occasionally been. We once talked of meeting up in Las Vegas for a visit--well, Vegas probably isn't the best idea now, but how about Hawaii? Some R&R with the four of us in a condo near the ocean sounds just about right to me. Snorkeling with sea turtles is something you will never forget. What say you?

I swear I have half the known world sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. Receive them with love, light, life. Get better soon.

Your loving,

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