As December approaches, I have several things on my mind, but at the forefront is something that I almost never talk about.
December 21, 2013 my oldest brother shot and killed my other older brother and then shot himself in the head. (He later died the day before Christmas) Before I get into the why’s, what’s and how’s, I want to tell you a little bit about both of them. (I will be changing their names in my post, if you know me or my brothers personally please be respectful and do not use their real names when sharing or commenting. )
When my brothers were ages 5 & 6, my mom ran off with my dad and abandoned them with the younger ones dad. They did not have a great home life. They both told me stories about how they lived in a trailer with him and he basically let them do whatever they wanted. This meant that at a young age they drank alcohol, smoked and all the bad things you could imagine.
When I was 9, my parents and my other brother and myself were at a store shopping when my mom saw her exes grandparents. I didn’t know what was going on honestly. I was 9, and I knew I had two older brothers, but I didn’t put two and two together till my mom was on the phone with them telling them our address so they can come and see my mom, brother and my dad and meet me. I was scared to be honest, these were two guys who I had seen pictures of when they were 5 & 6 my whole life, but never actually met them. When they got to our house my fear turned into excitement. I had met my sister when I was 6 and I finally was going to meet my other two siblings.
Michael my oldest brother was 18 at the time and Richard was 17. (I wish I had pictures to show you of the day I met them but after my mom died I stopped contact with my father so I don’t have any pictures from that time.) Can you just take a moment to image how it feels to be 9 years old and meeting your brothers for the first time. They came with bags of candy and a bucket of chicken. I didn’t care about that though, I was just so happy to finally have met them. They were really nice and I loved spending time with them.
For the next 15 years I got to know them. There were times where they had falling outs with my parents and I wouldn’t get to see one or both of them for a year or so, but they would always come back. They taught me how to play catch (football and baseball) I remember this one time we were at a park and Michael(the oldest) threw the the ball he had to be over 100 feet away from Richard and myself and I ran at it and caught it. Both of them cheered, and congratulated me by taking me out for pizza. They taught me how to throw a fast ball I got even better then they were I guess I just hand an arm for it. They would take me to the arcade with their spare quarters and I played every game there. I loved spending time with them.
I am going to move on to spending individual time with them and tell you about each of them.
Michael was my oldest brother he was funny and not afraid to embarrass himself to get a laugh. We had a game that started when we met called “there you are” it was like the older version of peek a boo without the hiding we would try to say there you are before the other one did this game could go on for hours and still be fun. When I got older and he wanted to be a rapper he would take me with him to the different studios and to hang out with his friends while he rapped and recorded he invited me to join him but I was too shy so I only had a talking part on the end of one of his songs once. He wasn’t the best rapper but he had so much fun doing it and that’s what counts.
Richard was only a year younger than Michael and we had our own different kind of friendship. He was the one who introduced me to Final Fantasy VII. As most of you know I am very obsessed with the franchise. I introduced him to anime. We would binge watch anime together. He was always willing to help whether it be offering to mow the lawn or hand over a few bucks. He was the type that if he had anything he was willing to help his family with what he had. He had got married to a woman who had two children and helped raise them for 3 years until she died suddenly. He loved her very much. It was fun to tease him because he never took any of the jokes to heart. He had a couple run ins with the cops and was arrested a few times but he was still a good guy.
Now the main issue was that both my brothers had drinking problems. Michael had 6 kids with the same woman in a short period of time 2 sets of twin and single births she also had three kids before they got together. Michael was really overwhelmed and worked his butt off to support them but still needed help. He started to become a slosh when he wasn’t working. The last time I saw him was actually in 2012, just because when he got drunk (he was always drunk) he got clumsy and I didn’t want him to accidentally hurt my baby while he was drunk. I told him that my main rule for guests was no getting drunk or coming over drunk so he never came over.
I did spend time with Richard before he died because he followed the rule of no drinking. He would come over while I was at work and mow the lawn for my husband. Back when our son who was still a toddler. He took us out to eat to have a nice family meal once in a while. I never once asked him for money but sometimes he would give us money just because. The last time I saw him a couple months before he died September I believe. He was getting his life together and was feeling very giving.
Michael has lost his place and Richard invited Michael, his wife and all nine kids to stay in his small 2 bedroom trailer. Now this next part I was never told about directly, the cops never even came to my house to tell me about it I had to hear about it from my sister, and then Google the story and watch it on the news.
Apparently they were drinking (yes with all the kids there) Richard was in his bedroom they apparently had an argument. So Richard just went to his bedroom to end the fight. Then Michael apparently took his rifle to Richard’s bedroom and shot him multiple times then went back to the living room and shot himself in the head in front of his wife and children. Richard died instantly and Michael died the day before Christmas.
When I first heard about it I wasn’t surprised because they did drink a lot. I didn’t cry, not one tear. Everyone one kept telling me that they were sorry for my loss or that they just couldn’t believe it. It seemed like everyone was crying and sad but me. I pushed it out of my mind and tried my best to forget about it and everyone forgot. The story was forgotten and people
stopped treating me like an injured animal.
Around Christmas (2015) I started thinking about it again. It was our daughters second Christmas and I was thinking about how she will never meet her uncles like our son had. I thought about how Richard was finally doing good for himself and Michael had really lost his way after making a lot of mistakes and I cried. Not just a couple of tears, it was like a rushing waterfall. I was howling in pain and the only thing I wanted was for my husband to hold me and he did. I’m crying now as well. I know that grief is different, but I never thought I would ever grieve for them. They had problems, lots of problems, but it doesn’t mean that they were bad people. They were my big brothers, the big brothers who protected me, who taught me how to defend myself, how to play ball. They loved me and would spoil me rotten in a heartbeat because I was the only baby sister they had.
I know people always have some assumptions and think they know the whole story just because what the media says, but you don’t, you don’t know anything about the people at all.
My brothers were more than a statistic, they were people with problems, just like you and me.