My brother was a funny and smart person. He was the type of person who had a good head on his shoulder. We thought he was going to go places. He graduated high school and we were all so proud of him. Right out of high school he got a job to help our mom out with the bills. He loved to ride bikes. That was something he loved a lot. Always trying to get the tricks to land just right. Then he got into cars and he loved them just as much. He was good at making anyone laugh no matter what kind of day they were having. We grew up in Watertown, NY. The neighborhood was ok and things didn't start getting bad until we all got older. Howie got into tattoos and he loved showing them off. He was a caring person. He may have gotten mad at you, but it never lasted. He always forgave everyone. Then things started to go wrong. He was changing and not in a good way. He quit his job because he didn't have time to party with his friends. He was going through money so quick. He met a girl who had a love for heroin and he loved her, but she kept leaving him for her dealer. So he decided he would do what ever it took to keep her, so he got himself a habit for heroin. He would drive to Syracuse to get this drug for him and his friends. He would go through great lengths to keep her, but before long she left him for good. She left him with a habit for heroin. I will never forget the day he died. Its been almost a year now and I still have nightmares. I had just picked my mom up from work early because her dad died and me and my sisters had to give her the news. There are 5 of us kids in this family and when there is bad news to deliver we do it together. So we went to pick mom up and gave her the news. Then we went back to her house to find away to get her to Maine. While we were there Howie was getting ready to go to the store to get soda. When he came back he was joking around and put on some smelly stuff and I said what is that smell and he responded, "It is me and I am dead sexy." We laughed and he decided he was going to take a shower. Little did I know those were going to be the last words I would ever hear from him again. I took my husband and kids home. On the way I stopped at the gas station. I went inside and came back out and the phone rang. This is one call I will never forget. I answered the call I said "hello"? And then there was this scream. A scream I still hear to this day. I heard, "He is blue, you need to come quick." My heart raced. I was telling my husband step on it. We were not even five minutes away. When I got there, I saw my baby brother sitting on the sidewalk with blood running down his hand. I asked what is wrong and he said, "He is gone." The blood was from him punching out the window. I went up to the house, my sisters were outside. Tina was screaming. I just couldn't grasp it all. My husband went into the house. I tried to get in but he wouldn't let me. My mind knew it was bad. Instead he sent me to his mom's house with the kids. I sat on that porch trying to convince myself that he wasn't gone. When I saw my husband walking up the street I knew deep down this wasn't good. I sat for a moment, hugged my kids and went to the hospital. When I got out of the van my sister shook her head, I wanted to go home. I couldn't do it. He was dead. The rest of the days leading up to the funeral are a blur. My son, age 6 at the time, was hard to console. I didn't know what to say because I still to this day don't know how to deal with this loss. The thing that pains me so much is it seems he died in vain. None of his friends learned anything. They still use. My little sister drinks to cope with it. My little brother smokes weed to cope. Then there is me and my sister Tina who just try to raise our kids and deal with the pain everyday. His birthday was May 13th. He would have been 24. I went to wish him a happy birthday but I had to leave because his friends were given permission from our mom to go to his site and drink. This pain is never ending I try to deal with it everyday but how can I when no one has learned a thing? He was a brother, a son, an uncle and a cousin. He was even a father. He was the heart of my heart and now my heart is broken and he can never come back home. Please think twice before you do anything that may end your life because it's hard to put the pieces back once they are torn in two. I love you Howie you will never be forgotten!!!!!
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