Monday, July 19, 2010

When Love isn't enough...

My oldest brother is is dire straits, and I'm useless to help.

This man used to look after his baby sister; he'd make endless cans of Chef Boyardee, and baked and decorated theme birfday cakes for me when I was little. When he became a father to Morgan and Beni, he was there for baths and feedings and changing the diapers, and when they were sick, he made warm milk to soothe their tummies. He had so much love, both given and received.

But the demons he's battled for much of his life have proven that it's not always the case that Love can heal wounds.

My oldest brother has struggled with mental health problems relating to trauma in his life, and his way of coping was to turn to drugs and alcohol. For a while, he seemed to be working his way back, but by the time his son was born, he was losing that battle. In the ensuing 14 years, he's had up times and down times, but as time goes on, the down times are getting longer and worse, and the ups are growing scarce. Complicating all of this is the fact that he has Hepatitis C, and it's quite advanced. His liver is severely damaged, to the point where using alcohol will soon kill him.

He's homeless now. After some new Salvation Army captains took over the rooming house he was in, he was kicked out (those guys don't appear to believe that compassion is part of what they are supposed to do). Having no home, he has no place to keep his medication, and no stability.

His always tried to focus on something to have hope about. He wants love; but the love he gets from his kids, his mother, his hasn't been enough. It never will be.

He's given up on hope now. Homeless, his cell phone, the last steady link to family, was stolen while he stayed at the Salvation Army. He's drinking. He's missing appointments for his health. And try as we all may, there is nothing any of us can do for him. We lack the thousands of dollars necessary to send him to a treatment centre specializing in long-term treatment of mental health and addictions, and government social/health programs can't or won't help. He's run out of chances, so what's left to hope for? Love? It hasn't been enough.


At 12:24 PM, Blogger Craig Taylor said...

Not sure what to say Fancy. I guess that one of the big problems with what your brother is going through is how it affects the people that love him. I guess all you can do is hope and hang on to the memories.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Gail at Large said...

No, love isn't enough, no matter what the Beatles say...

Love isn't enough to keep people together, it isn't enough to keep people from harm, it isn't enough to keep people alive.

It's one of life's sad truths.


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