Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Brothers

First of all, can I just say I love my Heavenly Father and believe that all things are for our good, but my first question to Him is going to be, "What is up with PMS?" It takes our emotions and magnifies them x100! I guess the one bonus is it keeps me humble. I know I have to turn to him more than ever during those times. Yesterday I was so emotional. I just sat and balled and balled and then Rob came home and I balled and balled. Poor guy. I have to say he is amazing. He has been so supportive and willing to do anything to help out my parents and me. He has been my rock, especially over the last couple of months. I will have to make it up to him somehow.
So with the death of Alan, my thoughts have naturally turned to the death of my other brother, Ricky. Ricky and I were only siblings on this earth for a short time, 9 months. He and I were thrown together in a blended family. He was the oldest in his family and I was the oldest in my family. Both of us shouldered a lot of responsibility at a young age. We both watched over our younger siblings and cared for them. When we first met, he was not very nice to me. I in turn would try to make his life miserable. Did he think I was happy about all of a sudden being the middle child? Then I don't know what happened, but one day we were good friends. He really took me under his wing. He would let me hang out in his room and listen to Ratt or Cinderella (popular bands at the time). You couldnt help but love Ricky. He had the best sense of humor! One day we were making dinner and he stuck the raw chicken on his hand and started attacking the kids with it, singing, "Attack of the killer chicken!" He would make the mundane task of washing dishes fun. I loved washing dishes with him and to this day I still love washing dishes. He was also very talented. He would draw pictures and write stories. I wanted to be just like him. We would try to do fun things for the kids. We pulled together a New Year's party. He would let me ride in his car with him. I was only 11 at the time, but he treated me like his equal. One day we were driving around Burley and we saw this sign for free kittens, so we decided to pick one up for the kids. We brought it home and our dad made us take it back. I was so bummed. One night I fell down the stairs. It was a new house and the stairs were steep. He came out and said, "Are you dead?" I was crying, but that made me laugh. I had found someone that understood me and was watching out for me. But I was also there for him. I remember he would get uspet about something, as teenagers do. He would go sit in his car and turn up the music. I would find him and sit in his car with him and listen to him vent. I wanted him to know that I understood and I cared. Then he was taken. I didn't feel like I had a right to grieve for him because we didn't know each other that long. I buried my grief. But deep down I was very upset that Heavenly father had taken him from me. I understood it was his time to go, but I was upset that he got to move on and had left me behind to deal with everything on my own. That is when my Anerexia started. I was trying to starve myself to death. First of all to see if anyone would even care, second of all because I wanted to die. It took a lot of well placed people in my life to help get me through that time. My grief has shown up in little ways throughout my life. I have always been looking for a brotherly relationship to replace the one I lost, someone that could make me laugh, got my sense of humor and someone that made me feel like they were watching out for me.
With Alan, I have been protecting him and looking out for him my whole life. He was a rambunxious child, to say the least. Very angry, very active. I used to sit on him and beat him into submission. But No One else was allowed to hurt him. There was this kid named Gentry. He bullied Alan bad. One day at recess I got in his face and told him if he ever touched my brother again, I would beat the living snot out of him. He was a big kid. I can't believe I did it, but he never touched Al again. One time Al got thrown in the trash can by some HS boys when he was in Junior High. I told them off, even knowing that he probably egged it on. I have said many prayers and fasted many times for him. One day a few years ago, I had the sudden thought that he was going to kill himself. I was frantic. I tried calling him and he wouldn't answer. I didn't know what to do. I was in Minnesota and he was in Wisconsin. So I don't know why, but I called the mission office in Wisconsin and just asked them if they could send some missionaries over to his house to knock on the door. I just needed something to interrupt him. Amazingly, they did as I asked. He was very upset about it. He thought my mom had sent them over to try to convert him. :0) Later, I found out that he had tried to kill himself. When he went on his rampage to try to "open my eyes" to the truth about the church, I listened to him and tried to explain that it was my choice to be active in the church. He thought I was doing it because I was trying to please my mom. He thought Rob was making me have all of these children. He wanted to save me. I truly appreciated that he was doing it out of love for me. He wanted me to be "free" like he was free. But he wasn't happy. I tried to tell him that I was happy and loved my life. It had all been my decision. He was pretty upset and we ended the conversation on a bad note. He called my husband bad names. That was right after we moved to Colorado. He then distanced himself from the family further. But I always prayed for him and asked that his heart would be softened, that he would know that I loved him no matter what. He came out for our family reunion a couple of years ago. That was a big deal for him and us. He talked to my dad and hung out with my brothers. I was wary of him because I didn't know how he felt about me. We didn't really talk, but I gave him a big hug. Then he started sending me messages about how he wanted to write music with me. He sent me a song that he had done and wanted me to write a melody line for it. I was so excited. I wish I had had more time to work on it. I was homeschooling the kids and teaching piano. There just wasn't time. Then one night at the beginning of this year, he said hi to me through chat on FB. I asked him how he was doing and he said not so good. I knew something was wrong. I told him to call me immediately. He didn't answer so I called him. He was crying so badly he couldn't even talk. I just waited for him to calm down and my heart was breaking for him. How could I help him see how to be happy? We had both been through a lot of crap as children. We both felt unwanted, unloved, and we didn't love ourselves. But he had harbored all that pain until it had consumed him and made him bitter. I had dealt with it the best I could and tried to focus on my children. He said he didn't know what he had to live for. I tried to get him to talk about his goals, what he wanted to be, what he wanted to accomplish. He said he just didn't have the motivation to change. He knew he needed to but didn't know how or if he even wanted to. I tried to get him laughing. I don't know if I did much good, but he didn't harm himself. Then I found out that he was going to be homeless. I told him that he had a home with me whenever he needed it. He never needed to ask. He considered moving in with my parents, but situations arose where it wouldn't have been a good idea. So I was his last resort. I told him I was so excited that he was moving in with us. I warned him about the kids. :0) Right at the last minute he said he might not have to because he had a job interview. But it fell through. He came here. He would come out sometimes and read the scriptures with the family and help the little kids read. He would sit with us while we had family prayer. He would join us for dinner every night. We always made him feel welcome and made sure he had a chair at the table. He took lots of pictures of the beauty here in CO. I know he loved it here. He would come with me to play volleyball every once in a while. We would get tacoes and sit in the parking lot and talk until 1 or 2 in the morning. Almost every night he would pop himself two batches of popcorn and take it to his room and eat it all. He would also get his ice water. I will miss the sound of the grinding ice in the middle of the night and the smell of popcorn. We would bring up some ice cream and stick it in the freezer and over the next couple of days it was gone. LOL Or if you left Oreos in the pantry, they disappeared. The thing about Al was, I loved him dearly, but he didn't make it easy to love him. He distanced himself, he was ornery to my kids. One time he started yelling at them because he thought the twins were trying to poison his cat. They had put soap in the cats water or something. The cat threw up all over my basement. I just quietly cleaned it up. He took the cat to live in his room after that. I hope that he could see that I just loved him for who he was. That I accepted him. One time he came out and told me that he thought Rob was a great guy. He respected him and saw that he was a hard worker. He told me he wanted to be more like that. That meant everything to me because of our earlier argument.
The difference between Ricky's death and Alan's death is that I am opening up about my grief this time. Everyone grieves differently and some people are probably like, get over it already. But it is hard to let go of someone you have watched over your whole life. Again, I have lost someone who knew what I was suffering because he was suffering in the same ways. I feel lost. I am glad that he is being taken care of by loved ones on the other side. I am just having a hard time letting him go. I wanted to do so much more.

I feel like I am reliving the grief from Ricky's death at the same time I am mourning Alan's death. Maybe that is good. I can get it out and get it taken care of finally. I can completely be healed from everything I have been carrying with me. Heavenly Father knows what He is doing.

I am feeling better today. I cleaned the house, ate some breakfast and got a shower by 9AM this morning. That is pretty darn good for me. I just had to get this all out. I realized yesterday why I was feeling so unsettled. I took care of it today and will hopefully get some closure from it.

Thanks for letting me vent. Not that anyone really reads everything I write. LOL But it sure does ME some good!


Ashley said...

Oh, Kris. I just want to tell you how amazing I think you are. I have always looked up to you. Even just seeing you at church, I have always been impressed with how you get your family there early, on the front row, sitting all nice and pretty :0) It sounds like you are a wonderful sister, and have inspired me to try harder to reach out to one of my brothers who is "lost". I have been edified as I have been reading your blog, and my heart goes out to you. And if anyone is telling you to "get over it already" I will punch them in the nose.

Beth said...

Kris you are so awesome. I really appreciate your friendship and am inspired by your faith. I offer you my shoulder and a listening ear if you ever need it. Thank you for sharing your story.

flr said...

Hey Krissy. Just want to let you know how much I admire the ability you have to express yourself. I cannot find it in myself to be so open and out there. I love and admire you very much. Please know you are not alone in your struggles. For me they have mellowed as the years have passed but there are times I am back as a small boy with all the doubt and fear and loneliness . . . Even in a room full of family I know love me I am at a loss for what to say or how to renew relationships . . . Happiness is fleeting but life is so good in so many ways as well. Just have to keep keeping on . . .:-) I have not shared such private thoughts to anyone in years. Hope they do not come back to bite me! ;o) A long lost uncle.

Adrienne said...

Sounds like you have been carrying a lot of weight for a long time. I can see your brothers and feel like you know them from your words. I'm so sorry for you hurt. You did enough. Know that you did enough. Truly you can give your hurt and burdens to the savior. Sometimes it takes a long time to do it but you really can. Thank you for sharing.