When my father died my mother wanted to wait until it was a more "humane" time of day to tell me. I understand her perspective, that there was nothing I could do, so why not let me sleep a little bit longer before telling me. Of course, she forgot about the time difference and I ended up finding out at work.
It is this philosophy that motivated her most recent phone call. It is never good when she starts a conversation with, "I have some bad news." I know the tone of voice she uses when she is about to tell me someone has died. She has made a number of these calls to me over my lifetime. It is a tone she only uses to convey the passing of someone.
Yesterday, I got the call. She asks me when I am leaving to get the boys at school, which was about an hour from then. She then uses the tone. I start running through my head who it could be. It is interesting, how now, I can come up with a lot of people who it could have been, but at the time I was like ok, who? I really had nothing. For the most part my family is pretty healthy and with the exception of my mother, we are all pretty young.
The 8th of January was the birthday my sister, who died from alcoholism. She passed away 15 years ago on Mothers Day. She drank her self to death that night. She left a son, Christopher, who at the time was 14. On the same day his mother was born, we found out that her first son had also died. While he did not die on the 8th, this was the day that his father chose to tell us.
No one really knows how or why he died. But, my guess is that he died due to complications from drugs and alcohol. They may not have played a part at the exact time he died, it is my belief that the played a roll in deteriorating his health to the point where is body failed him. We will know for sure once the Coroner does the autopsy.
I remember when Chris was born. I was so excited, and looking forward to being a part of his life. I was in 7th grade. He was the first grandchild. He never really had a chance. His mother was so screwed up and his father didn't know how to handle the situation. Sometimes life does put us in a place where we can not handle it. He found his mother dead, at 14, after spending a childhood cleaning up her messes, he had to call 911 and his father one last time.
The last time I saw Chris, was 5 years ago. He left town after that visit, in the middle of the night after stealing money from my mother and brother. He never contacted us again. My mother tried to track him down, and was never able to. We were happy to learn that at the end of his life he had a relationship with his father and his brother and sister. He got to know his nieces. That he was with his family until the end. He was still with his girlfriend, or maybe his wife, that we met when we last saw him. She was a nice girl, I hope the rest of her life is a bit more smooth.
I am sorry that Chris's life was so marked by sadness. I hope that he is at peace now. He deserved a better chance.