Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The stranger I once knew

So this morning, I was about to walk into my office building. I happened to glance over my shoulder before entering the building and saw a homeless man walking across the street. He was rail-thin and bald. He was wearing a backpack, sunglasses, and headphones, and walked with his head down. He was a pitiful sight. A body eaten away by drugs. A poster child for why children should just say no. I froze and stared. He didn’t look my way. My thoughts raced as I debated whether I should say something to him. Should I run across the street and catch up to him? Call his name?

How did I know his name? Why would I talk to him?

He’s my little brother.

And I chose to silently turn around and walk into my office building. The security guard inside had seen me staring at my brother. He gave me this raised-eyebrow look, like, "Yeah, look at that crazy guy." I stuttered, "Ummm, no, uh, that’s my middle brother." "Oh...sorry." "No," I said, "the look you gave me was right. Don’t worry about it."

I went up the elevator to my office. I looked out the window. I couldn’t see him anymore. Gone. Just like that. Almost like seeing a ghost.

When I think about it, I did see a ghost...a ghost of my past, a ghost of my childhood. A ghost of the brother I knew before methamphetamine and cocaine and LSD and pills and pretty much every other drug he could get his hands on turned him into a person I don’t know. Before he tore apart my family time and time again, and before he broke our trust a million times over.

And now I see him on the street, and he doesn’t see me, and I don’t say anything. I walk away because I don’t want to be hurt again.

My brother. My flesh and blood. How sad is that?

8 comments:

Sam said...

That is such a sad story, I have three brothers and simply cannot imagine losing any of them in that way, but then I just don't know what life may throw at us.

Maren said...

Hello!
I read your last few posts and I'll be praying for your sweet baby girl. I'm sorry that you all have to go through this and I'm so glad she didn't have to have the test yesterday.
About your ppd blog - I have most of those feelings; anxiety, crying all the time, feeling inadequate, isolated, lonely, scared, etc... but how do I know if it's PPD or just hormones from having a baby(ies)? also I'm scared to tell my doc because I want to be able to breastfeed the twins and so I'm nervous to take meds. Any advice?
~Maren

Morrisa said...

Wow. Your post really hit home with me today. My little brother is also dealing with some drug problems and the thought that he may turn out like that some day breaks my heart. I often think about the sweet little boy he was when we were kids and how much he has changed.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, this is so sad. I'm so sorry!

Steph

Heather said...

I know all too well what you are going through. The addict in my life was my husband and before he got clean I would look at him and there was nothing behind his eyes. He wasn't the same person I once knew.

Hopefully maybe some day your brother will find his way.

baby~amore' said...

drugs are a tragedy and they shatter families so much.
It is so sad .I too hope one day he fins s way out of his hell and beats his addiction.

Liz said...

I didn't realize that your brother was homeless & addicted. That's so hard to watch isn't it? You know the story about Larry's brother...so we really do understand. :(

Wendi Taylor said...

I don't remember how I stumbled onto your blog. I hope you don't think I"m some weird stalker. I read and pray over the blogs of several families on here with children with medical needs. When I find a new one I like to go back and read the whole story, to get caught up, to know what I'm really praying over. I hope you don't mind. Anyway, when I got to this entry, I nearly cried. My family has been there, down that trail of destruction left by a family member abusing drugs. It is a lonely road but it shouldn't be. We are not alone. And there is always hope. I will pray for your brother as well as your daughter. ((( hugs )))

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