You are sitting at home, when you walk over to your phone on it’s charger to see that you have one new message from your half-brother. To you, he is just your brother–the “half- prefix isn’t allowed in your home. You open the text, read it, and are frozen with fear:
Tell dad I'm sorry but that he doesn't have to deal with me anymore. I'll be out of his life in a few minutes.
You press CALL and let it ring. Each tone brings on a rising level of anxiety. Then after what seems like an hour, it goes to voicemail.
He didn’t answer.
You quickly walk over to you’re father, and let him read what he sent you.
Phone calls are made.
His sister goes over to his house. She finds him there.
One year later, Talking about it still brings you to tears, as it always will. He is a fallen soldier: Gone but never forgotten.
And you miss him. You cared. A lot.
When my friend Amber, a senior I met in Hartford, gave me a ride home from her house for the first time, I notice a picture of a man in uniform, probably in his late 20s. Below his face reads his date of birth, and date of death. Before that point, I wasn’t aware that Amber had a brother. (She actually has three of them.)
“Oh no… that makes me sad.” I say and I inspect the card.
“HA… It makes me sad.” She says, Looking straight ahead.
No questions were asked, because I took one look at the uniform and assumed he was killed in combat. I was wrong.
Yesterday, while I was helping Amber’s sister, Brittany, pack for her upcoming vacation, she was worried about people asking about her tattoo. She got it in memory of her brother.
She started explaining how she still has a text from him about 5 minutes before “he did it” still saved in her old phone. I finally asked how he died.
He shot himself.
She broke down describing the situation to me. Then she hugged me tight, and asked to never let her go through that again. Unfortunately, I knew who she was talking about.
This was a huge eye opener for me. Even if you don’t think your family cares, they do. Even if it’s your half sister who you are not close with. Things like suicide can really tear them apart. It affects more than just you. So even if you think you are worthless, I know someone cares. I’ll bet money on it. I understand, family sometimes doesn’t take you seriously. I can tell you from experience that the saying “Friends come and go, but your family will always be there” is not entirely true. I can also tell you from experience that strangers can have a huge impact on you and be a huge inspiration. If they don’t see your worth, then I figure they aren’t the right people to be looking for it. The only way to find the right people is to put yourself out there and give it time.