In Loving Memory Of My Darling Step Brother

In Loving Memory Of My Darling Step Brother

November 2003-March 2017

Ernest,

I miss you so much. I smile remembering your cute little dimple on your face. I smile remembering playing out in the yard for years with your brother, John Charles, and my sister, Vivian. I smile when I remember jumping on the trampoline failing to do backflips. I smile remembering running to the big willow tree in the front yard that was ideal for climbing and was perfectly surrounded by leaves so no one could see all of our shenanigans.

I laugh thinking about sitting at the dinner table rolling my eyes when you would say, "little Audrey strong and able, keep your elbows off the table." I laugh picturing little Ernest running around trying to keep up with your older brother with a huge nerf gun in your hand. I remember how smart you are. You always were the best in your class at math and blew me away with how easily you grasped the material.

Sometimes, I cry. I cry because the last time I saw you I was walking through the cafeteria when I was about to get on a bus for a soccer game. You were so tall. The little nugget who I ran around the yard with and played sharks and minnows in the pool with was taller than me. I cry because, on this Earth, I won't see you again. However, I have many more reasons to smile.

You are my little brother, and what a lucky girl I am to have gotten to spend so much time with you. You will always still be here. I feel nostalgic remembering all four of us kids cuddled up in the man cave watching movies. Since Vivian is in your class, she makes sure to always fill your locker with flowers.

All of your friends have put sweet notes inside as well so you are honored and remembered as you should be. You left quickly, but regardless of the amount of time you got, this time was anything but wasted. You made so many people smile and laugh like you did for me. Your silly, bright energy was contagious and still is. There are times you appear in my thoughts, these moments I stop and I do not cry, I smile. I feel your energy inside of me and I get so excited to see you again soon.

Love ya Ern:)

Cover Image Credit: Audrey Hall

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Since the day I was born, I’ve always wanted that sister relationship all my friends have with their older sisters and unfortunately I will never have that. As much as I wish we could create a relationship like that, I don’t think it will ever happen and it’s all because of your addiction.

Throughout my childhood, I can’t really remember much except for lie, drama, and heartbreaks. Your addiction led to so much, not just for you, but for everyone that cares about you. It has caused unnecessary drama and it a broken family. To have 3 beautiful children and to sigh over your parental rights, has truly disappointed me and how’s change how I feel about you. You ruined everything, not just physically, or mentally but also emotionally.

I've lost respect for you. I’ve done everything for you, from planning interventions, fought in court for you, helped you and your family out with money, given you money and so on...but with all my help and support in the past, that was never enough to want to be sober. You would think having three beautiful children and a sister who is working her ass off to help you, would make you want to get clean but that was all a lie. This addiction got you good.

You’re addiction has driven me to not care much and it kills me that I cant do anything to make that feeling go away. When you have repeatedly lied to me, refused treatment and have stolen from me, I’ve lost all hope and have stopped trying to help you sober up. I wish I could say, “I miss the person you use to be” but in my 23 years of being alive, I don’t remember if you were ever clean from this addiction or if we have ever had a real bond in sisterhood. Will I ever get to have the relationship I want with you? At this point in life, I’m not to sure. That is what scares me the most. You’ve said you were sober so many times throughout my life, and at the end of the day that was a lie. You have always failed me and I don’t think I could ever trust you if you said you were clean. Its sad when I believed you when you said you were sober, and yet again, you lied about your sobriety.

It’s been almost twenty four years wanting that sisterly relationship, but it will never happen if it hasn’t happened at this point. I hate to say it but I’ve lost all hope in believing that you will ever be 100% sober. For my own sake, I feel lie I need to cut you out of my life. Do I regret this choice? Sometimes, yes because you are family and family is supposed to support each other through thick and thin, but for my own safety, I think I need to let go. Every time someone messages or calls me about you, my anxiety goes through the roof. I’m always preparing myself for “that call”. The call stating that someone found you dead due to an overdose. That is my biggest nightmare, the guilt and helplessness I would feel if I ever receive that call. It would l truly break my heart, I don’t know what else to do for you.

I don’t think anyone would really understand my choice and wanting to let go of whatever relationship we have left. Even at this age, it’s hard to find people who have dealt with what I’m dealing with. I think it’s important for people like me going through this to share our stories.

Cover Image Credit: Brittany Lauchner

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You'll Miss Your Siblings A Little Extra When You Leave Home For College

"You never know what you have until it's gone" weighs a little heavier when you leave home.

When people would say “you never really know what you have until it's gone,” it never set that heavily on my mind. At least, not until I left for college.

When I left, it was as if I began to see my family as if I were an outsider, everything came from a whole new view. I was not so fixated on the small details anymore. Instead, I saw the whole picture. I say this because when you see people day in and day out, you can find yourself getting caught up in the minor details and in the things that don’t really matter.

I have six siblings. I am a middle child while also an older sibling. From there, it is a bit more complicated. This means there is constantly something going on and kids at all different stages of life. With all of this, it can be challenging to take a moment and take a step back and appreciate it all.

When I stepped out of my little world, I really saw all that my siblings have done for me and how they have impacted my life.

Being at college and not having a sister there to talk to, not having a sister to tell her not to wear my clothes, not having an older brother to make fun of my stupid comments, not having younger siblings to allow me to feel like a little kid — these are now all things I miss.

Now that I don’t have these constants in my life, I understand what they truly meant to me. My siblings taught me patience, they helped shape my humor, and they helped me step out of my comfort zone. They are always teaching me new things, and most of all, they always made my life exciting. I am glad I now have the opportunity to step back and understand all the colors they each bring into my life.

My siblings truly helped shaped me into the person I am today, and I am thankful I got to go through life with them.

Thank you to Madalynn, Riley, Craig, David, Aidan, and Dylan. You all are amazing individuals, and you all make me a very proud sister. Love you always.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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