My brother Ricky was very intelligent, artistic and had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a gay man in a family with three other brothers and me. When he was thirteen years old an older man gave my brother heroin. He got hooked right away and for months this man gave it to him for free.
After getting heroin for free for some time, his older friend then put him on the streets of Hollywood to earn his way. He was a runaway for years and nobody in my family sought help for him. My fondest memories of my brother are when he'd play house with me as a kid. I miss him.
My brother was disowned by the rest of my family, but over the years we kept in touch. Even if I had to call his parole officer to see how he was, I still kept in touch with him.
The last time I spoke to my brother was December 1997. He called me and told me he had Aids. He was clean. He was dying. I never got to see him before he died. I was battling my own disease of addiction, using meth.
I tried to tell my older brother that Ricky had Aids and he was dying, but he didn't care. I am clean and sober today, and I am trying to stay that way. No one should have to die alone, without family like my brother did.
I too have been disowned by this family. But, I am in recovery now. I have a better family today.
Ricky, wherever you are, you were always loved by me.
Love your sister,
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