My older brother was killed in a single-vehicle car accident shorty after midnight on Saturday morning.
The police report that the car he was traveling in was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed when it crashed into the crossing arm standard at a railroad crossing.
Thankfully, my brother wasn’t driving.
It’s horrible and sad and gut-wrenching thinking about the catastrophic injuries that ended his life.
Those emotions make sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is the anger I feel.
My brother, a gifted natural athlete, chose a very destructive course for his life. From childhood, he was cruel, manipulative, selfish, reckless and violent. He loved booze and drugs and chaos more than his own family. Certainly more than me.
And I loved him anyways. Fiercely.
Even when he broke off contact with the rest of our family for months or years at a time. Even when ran with gangs and pumped his body full of poison. Even when I knew he was suddenly talking to me or my parents again only because he wanted to shake us down for money or favors.
Love is weird like that, I guess.
Hate the sin, love the sinner.
I’m not angry about that stuff, though. I’ve known who my brother was for decades – ever since he was lighting garbage cans on fire in the back alley, beating me up for giggles, and being brought home by the cops as a kid. What makes me so angry about this is situation is that it never had to happen.
Neither my brother nor the driver of the car were wearing seatbelts. And even if they were, reports the police officer assigned to the case, neither of them would have survived the crash. That’s how fast they were going – fast enough to kill on impact. On a country road. In the middle of the night.
I’ve struggled with heath issues for years. Fought and scrapped for another day. For enough time to complete my life’s work.
My brother was blessed with phenomenal heath and boundless energy. The only thing that ever held him back was him. I hoped and prayed that he would get his life on track and put that potential to good use one day. God knows my parents heaped more effort and love and forgiveness on that man than any reasonable person could expect.
That’s never going to happen now. None of it.
I’m never going to sit with my brother on the back porch one day as friends. As brothers. With nothing but unconditional love between us.
And dammit, it hurts.
Love. Forgive. Cherish life. Don’t take reckless chances.
I hope you’ve finally found peace, brother.