"Wish I Knew Why?"

John Cook & Ted

I can’t seem to stop thinking about my brother. Even in death he’s managed to make his presence felt. The last couple of days he’s been here with me in the car, at work, at home. haunting me, taunting me, daring me to make sense of his misdirected life. For it is not the manner of his death that disturbs me, but the way in which he chose to live.

His death was not entirely unexpected. For a very long time I’d anticipated the phone call informing me of his passing. I hoped and prayed that it would never come but deep within my heart, I sort of always knew it would, with his lifestyle it was inevitable. I can’t begin to understand why my brother lived as he did.  I wish I knew why he gave up on his hopes and dreams and let his artistic talents waste away, Why he chose to to hang out with criminals, bums and freaks. I’d like some answers. I need answers.

Yes, I realize my brother was ill, I know he had a disease, but that’s no excuse, it’s a cop out. Alcoholism can be controlled. Other’s have overcome their addictions and gone on to live useful and productive lives. I wish I knew what it was that kept my brother from being a success. God knows he could have been. I know how he was raised, I know what he was made of, the values and ideals he grew up with, the very same ones my sister and I grew up with and we did alright.

Somewhere along the way he abandoned those beliefs and began to believe that the world owed him a living and wasted his efforts on scams and claims, trying to get something for nothing. His big payday was always just around the corner. I wish I could understand why he lost faith in himself and chose to live a life of near squalor? The life of a common drunk?He was capable of so much more.  I’d sleep so much easier if I could only understand…




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