Thursday, November 19th, will be the first anniversary of my brother Troy’s passing.
In a way, it seems like it happened yesterday; in other ways, it feels as if it happened eons ago. Grief tends to make time either stand still or move at a rapid pace.
This past year, I have tried to sort out my feelings and emotions. Could I have done more to help him? Could I have reached out more by phone and text to see how he was doing? Could I have prayed more for him?
Remembering the Good Times
Troy and I were five years apart in age. When my mom told me she was having a baby, I told her it better be a boy or don’t bother coming home. He was the annoying little brother who got into my things. We suffered chickenpox together and, one fateful night, the stomach flu. I vividly remember Troy on the couch, me on a cot beside him, and my mom in the recliner taking care of us. It was one of the worse cases of stomach flu that I ever had.
Memories of past Christmas’ come to mind every holiday season. I’d hear him get up in the middle of the night, flashlight in hand, and look for the gifts that were for him. One Christmas morning, way before dawn, we were surveying our gifts, and there was a large, wrapped gift for Troy. With excitement, he shouted, “If that is a bike, I am going to crap (he used an expletive word) my pants!” Laughter erupted from my parent’s bedroom.
While we didn’t have much in common, we spent every night doing the dishes together. Blaring the radio to the latest 80’s hits, laughing, and getting on our mom’s nerves, we would laugh and carry on like kids normally do at that age. When Troy entered high school, I had already graduated, and it was there that he fell in with the wrong crowd and began the twenty plus years of drug abuse.
Remembering the Bad Times
The first time I knew that Troy was seriously into drugs was right after my husband and I returned from our honeymoon. Troy entered a rehab center to try to kick his habit. Sobriety lasted for a few years, and during that time, he was employed, got married, and raised his step-daughter. He coached softball and loved to travel, especially to St. Louis Cardinal games. He and his family were the first to visit me after I had our oldest son, Grant.
Somewhere and somehow, the demons took over again, and Troy fell back into his old habits. This time though, it wasn’t marijuana. It was crack cocaine and heroin, which began the snowball effect of arrests, prison time, and rehabilitation centers. Troy quit his job, and his house went into foreclosure. Our mom had passed away by this time, and Troy and his wife moved in with my dad. A move that cost my dad and other family members hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It was during this time that we grew further and further apart.
Troy is Free!
As I wrestle with the what if’s, could’ves, and should’ves, one thing is abundantly clear, Troy is finally free.
Free of the pain and suffering he endured through his drug use. Free of begging for money. Free of lies. Free of his hell on earth. Free of hurting the ones he loves due to an addiction that had complete control over him.
If you are reading this and have an addiction, please know that you are loved, and help is available. Please also know if you are thinking that you aren’t hurting anyone but yourself, you are wrong. So very wrong! Your actions are affecting your family and friends. Please seek help and, most importantly, let your family help you!
I miss my brother, and I miss the man he was before the addictions took over. My heart hurts that I can’t talk to him and tell him that I love him.
During this past year, I have clung to Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Oh, how glorious that day will be! No more tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain.
Come, Lord Jesus!
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My name is Missy, and I love Jesus!
I am a Christ-follower, wife, mom, author, and speaker.
I prayed so much and so often for Troy to be freed from his addiction. I know addiction is a monster…but I kept praying for his freedom. I’ll be honest, when I heard he died, I was angry at God – that wasn’t the way I wanted freedom to come. But like you, I am now grateful that he is fully free and wholly healed.
Praying for you, Missy. I love you!
Thank you for your kind words! To be honest, I felt that way towards God. Troy was still relatively young; he had so much more life to live! Hugs and love to you!