It was a rather short letter. He is in the progress of writing a more detailed one, but wrote and sent this one as fast as he could just to say happy birthday. My brother remembered my birthday. I'm not saying this in a way to belittle his gesture at all and if he did forget it, I would have been completely okay with that. With all he has done, all he has put himself through and all he faces daily and will continue to do so for many more years of his life to come, he went out of his way to make sure me, his big sister, got a happy birthday wish from him. And on top of all that, my birthday is still a week away.
With his letter was his version of a "high five". It was his hand, outlined. My heart ached and smiled at the same time. I was holding my brother's hand right in the palm of my very own. I remember when he was in jail a few years back I had done the very same thing for him. I wanted him to know that anytime he needed a hand, mine was right there for him, whenever he needed it.
I put my hand inside his. My brother really is a caring and sensitive person. He is kind hearted, even if he's dying slowly inside. Yesterday, this day, and tomorrow, my brother Chad is as I know him, sober. A COMPLETELY different person than the one who's existence was fueled by heroin.
Am I selfish I ask, to be happy I get these letters. Is it totally selfish for me to be happy that I, still in a way, have my brother and "her name" family doesn't have her. Is it wrong for me to even be talking about him because of what he did? He still exists, she does not. He can write, he can talk, he can love, he can interact, he can still live...she cannot. And it was him, my brother, who took her soul away.
I know we are in for a very, very long road. I know it is not going to be easy. I know there will be days of what feels like an emotional roller-coaster for many of us. I know there will be days ahead of me where I will be so angry and torn because this should have NEVER happened, it didn't HAVE to happen this way.
Once again, I know what he has done and I'm facing it the very best I can, as I'm sure he is. And I know Chad and I will get through this....a world apart but together....hand to hand.