I Lost My Brother Twice

Phyllis Benton

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Bobby was so proud of himself when he graduated from grade school—dressed in his suit—he looked handsome. Bobby was a good student and loved to write. He wanted to one day become a writer. He had dreams of being some body. That all changed the day our mother walked out on us. Bobby stayed with Dad but the rest of us went into foster care. Bobby stayed in school and graduated and then went into the Navy. He came to see me in my foster home dressed in his navy whites. He looked good. Having some medical problem, he was discharged early. Bobby went back to live with Dad again. Bobby found it difficult to deal with the separation of his family—he turned to drugs and alcohol. The painkilling effect of drugs and alcohol became a solution to the discomfort.

I went to visit Bobby a couple of times in my adult years. He lived in a shack that he had built for himself in the woods. He was either drinking or had been drinking when I would see him. He worked at the local fish factory or some other seasonal job, enough to just get by. He had no ambition to do anything anymore. While visiting him one time, a bird landed on his only window sill. The bird sat there and looked in not seeming to be afraid. Bobby talked to the bird and the bird seemed to be listening. He told me that he talked to the birds as they often visited him. Bobby said he had lots of friends in the woods. On another occasion that I visited him, he told me that at night he would see a pair of red eyes out by the edge of the woods looking at him. He said he did not believe it was a wolf though. He said it came closer each night. He talked to it and they became friends.

Bobby became friends with all those living things in the woods. I believe he knew that they would not turn on him or abandon him. Bobby lost his will after the family separation and dug himself deep in a hole and didn’t want to come back out. He had chosen drugs and alcohol as a solution to the unwanted problems.

Many years later, I got a call from a sister—she was on the way to the hospital to see Bobby. He was very sick and the doctor said he didn’t think he would live much longer. Bobby never went to the doctor very much, instead the use of drugs and alcohol helped kill the pain that he was feeling. My brother passed away that evening. He was only 53 years old. The family made the decision to have his body cremated. There was a ceremony for him but the ashes were saved until all the family could be there.

A year later, the family took Bobby’s ashes out beside a small Island in the ocean to lay him to rest. I lost my brother twice, once to drugs and alcohol and the second time when he died. Bobby was misunderstood by many people. He had a good heart and soul. He could not deal with the discomfort and unhappiness of loosing his family and every day life.

The cycle of drugs and alcohol addition begins with a problem, discomfort or some form of emotional or physical pain. Everyone has experienced this in life to a greater or lesser degree. There are other solutions to deal with problems without using alcohol or drugs—this only creates a new problem. Talk to friends, family, and if necessary, get professional help. Digging a hole with drugs and alcohol like my brother did, is not the answer.

The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Call Center 1-800-784-6776

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Services. 1-800-662-HELP

Living Night mares of Abuse by Phyllis Benton, when released it will be available at PublishAmerica, http://www.publishamerica.com/books/ at a special pre-release discount price. Also available at any on line books, such as Amazon.com, B&N.com, using my ISBN number 1-4137-9156-5. For more information about my book or about the author, please visit my websites at http://www.pdbenton.org/ or http://www.freewebs.com/dianesfantasy/


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