My brother was a wonderful, loving, giving man. He first became sober in his early 20's and was an active participant in AA for 8 years. He loved his family, especially his daughter :) He had an infectious laugh and a great sense of humor. He returned to school duringhis time of sobriety and became a graphic designer. He was a very talented artist and excelled in his work.
While working for the Aids Resource Center he participated in a 600 mile bike ride to raise both funds and awareness. He injured his back during this ride, which led to a back surgery, andan eventual relapse into addiction.
Over the next 6 years he struggled valiantly to regain his sobriety.In and out of treatment multiple times, he tried hard for himself and his family, but finally succumbed to the disease at age 36. Hundreds attended his funeral, many from the local recovering community. I found that very comforting, and am grateful for that to this very day.
I suffered much guilt after my brother passed and I thought of all the ways I should have, could have, done something differently. The last time I spokewith him we argued. It took a long time for me to remember all the loving conversations we had had throughout his lifetime, I was so fixated onthe last one. While going through his things after his death I found a CD with my name on it. It was a copy of the song Tattoo by Jordin Sparks. At first it was incredibly hard to listen to buttoday I hear the message of love he was sending to us, despite his inability toacheive sobriety.
I have a lotof respect formy brother! Addiction is a painful and formidable foe. Watching his struggle and experiencing the void that his death created has taught me some important things. The most important lesson involves love and tolerance.
I find mywords and actions are much more loving today, no matter what my children, friends, or familyare going through. I feel a deeper humility in my heart,and realize on a deeper level that there is an ending for everyone.This has led me toagreater appreciation for those who remain.And for that I am grateful.
I still miss you Dave.
I will always love you Dave :)
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