I have decided to participate in the National Blog Post Month for November. That means I am going to be posting each day in November
November 20, 2013
Most of the years that my brother was a part of my life, I believed that his life’s story was a sad and tragic one.
In my reflections about him though, I have come to understand that because of his eccentricity it became a necessity that he learn how to survive in a world which was just not quite the right fit for someone like him.
Sometimes I think he genuinely thought that he wanted a “normal” life, like the ones we all had. I suppose by that he meant a mate, a couple of kids, a dog, a house and well, everything short of the white picket fence.
I’m sure I only know a fraction of the reality of what was Adam’s normal. I suspect that the blowout that was his life was so much of a seductive addiction that it was one which he would not and eventually could not free himself of.
He would periodically drift in and out of our lives. I have to say that I was ashamed and frankly embarrassed by him. I admit that I was even afraid of him. I couldn’t imagine how he could live where he lived, and do the things he did.
In May of this year, we were notified that he was hospitalized and in a coma. We, his family, who had given up on him, suddenly came together to gather around his bedside.
He miraculously recovered and we, his family, began to forgive, heal and forget.
One day, a couple of months ago, Ross and I took him out for lunch. He was not very steady on his feet, but he was anxious to go. When he stepped out into the sunlight he took a deep breath as he so obviously savored the freshness of the cool air.
He wanted to go into the neighborhood that he once called home, his old stomping grounds.
He picked the place, a stark no frills Chinese eatery. The front door was propped open and we had a view of the pedestrian street traffic. As we sat on plastic chairs and ate our egg rolls off of paper plates, every once in a while, someone would stop and sit down on the front stoop of the restaurant. Adam kept looking at those walking by, apparently trying to see if he recognized any of them.
He said that he must have been away too long because he didn’t spot anyone he knew.
He pointed down the street and told me that he lived in a building not too far from where we were. He recalled how his place was the party house. He talked about the time the party went non-stop twenty-four seven for a whole week. His description reminded me of a scene from Breaking Bad and Jessie’s blacked out pad.
To tell you the truth I was curious. I wondered what that must have been like. Although I knew that I would never have an experience like that, especially not me, I tried to imagine how it would feel to lose myself in a hazy stupor for a whole week.
And for the first time in our lives, for a brief minute I mentally changed places with my brother, something I could never picture myself doing.
My brother, Adam, passed away today at 2:00 a.m. He lived for 53 years and three months. We, his family, are very sad.