Michael was my older brother. If you were to ask me what I remember most about him. I wouldn't be able to give you just one answer. The memories I have of our childhood and even our early adulthood are engraved inside of me. We were definitely unique in the aspect that we never really fought growing up. Of course we'd have disagreements but there were never any shouting matches or physical confrontations. We honestly just got along incredibly well. All the way up until he reached Junior High, I'm convinced we were each others' best friend.
He was always so compassionate towards others. He was truly the All-American Boy. He had such a beautiful smile, a face that everyone gravitated towards. He got along with everyone. He loved life and loved being able to help people. He hated the thought of ever hurting anyone especially those that he loved. He never could stand to see me cry. Whether I scraped my knee, was crying about a fight with a friend and just crying because I was sad, he always tried to cheer me up. He'd sit down with me and watch Dumb and Dumber, Tommy Boy, Money Pit, whatever movie it took to make me feel better.
Two years ago, he asked to borrow a large sum of money from me. I drilled him with questions as to what it was for. Later it came out it was for a lawyer. He was being sued for prescription fraud. He had 20 counts that were Federal offenses which could have added up to 4 years of jail time per offense. He got off on probation. Not even a few months later. My mom found him unconscious in his room. I still remember her terrified scream. I called 911 and ran back in fourth from his room to the driveway waiting for the ambulance. They had to give him an injection of Narcan which can stop the effects of an opiate overdose. He jolted awake at that moment. He claimed later that he was only sleeping and that he would have woken up in the morning.
The heroin made him lie, steal, pawn our possesions. He went from treatment centers like Insight to Brighton Hospital to Half way houses and later the 3/4 house where he spent his last few weeks of life.
July 21, 2007 my parents got a call that changed our lives forever. He passed away. He was so close to being done with treatment but he just couldn't shake the disease. Thats what heroin is, it's an illness that us loved ones will never fully understand.
He came from a good home with loving parents and a sister, lots of friends, popular in high school, brilliant with computers. But some where along the way he got side tracked. Everyone always says that won't happen to me, it won't happen to someone I love. I use to say it too. But it does and it will unless we find a way to make it stop.
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