More than a Brother

I wasn’t sure if I should start from the beginning or go with something more recent, but I figured to make you all understand my current situation it was better to start from the beginning. So here it goes…

****Trigger Warning****

 

December 20, 2010

My mother had planned a big Pre-Christmas dinner at Japanese Garden for the family. My sister and brother-in-law were coming, and that was a pretty big deal considering we didn’t get to see them or my nephew Jaydon much at that time. This would actually be the first time my brother Donnie would be meeting his nephew. Dinner was great perusal. We spent the evening laughing, sharing stories, and exchanging gifts with my sister. All in all a pretty normal night spent with family. After dinner we said our goodbyes and headed home. Once home, my brother Donnie changed and headed out with some friends. Little did I know that would be the last time I would ever see my brother alive again.

December 21, 2010

My brother returned home sometime around 1:30am give or take a little. I was fast asleep in my bed at this point and didn’t hear him come in. He went to the living room where my mom was asleep on the sofa. He kissed her to let her know he was home, and then told her he was going to watch some TV upstairs before going to bed. She told him not to stay up to much later because he had court in the morning. Fast forward a couple hours… I was being shaken awake by my step dad telling me I needed to get up and get dressed. dazed and confused I looked over at the clock. I honestly don’t remember the exact time but it was in the wee hours of the morning, still very much dark outside. I had no clue what was going on. I walked into the kitchen to find my oldest brother, my step dad and my mother who was frantically on the phone and pacing the room. I remember asking what was going on. In a panicked voice my mother said “your brother, we found him upstairs, he wasn’t breathing.” At this point the ambulance had already taken my brother and was in route to memorial. My mother and step dad took their own car and headed to the hospital. I rode with my oldest brother to the hospital. This is when I was filled in on what my oldest brother and mom just witnessed.

My brother Travis got home not long after my brother Donnie, he to came in the living to kiss my mom goodnight. This is when my mom noticed the stair light was still on. So she called up to my brother, “Donnie?” “Donnie?” no reply. So she walked up the stairs. The TV was off and the only light was coming from the guest bathroom. So my mom called out again “Donnie?” no reply. She went over to the door and knocked, again nothing. she tried to open the door but couldn’t get the door open. This is when she yelled down for my other brother, who came running. He was able to get the door open just enough to catch the reflection of my brother in the mirror. He was passed out in front of the door in a pile of his own vomit unresponsive. My brother was able to push the door open far enough to get in. This is where they were able to see that my brother was no longer breathing. Next to my brothers lifeless body laid a belt and a single syringe, it was Heroin. Once medics arrived they worked on my brother for a little at the house then loaded him up and headed to the hospital, this was when I was woken up.

Back to the drive to the hospital, I texted my boss to let them know I may not be making it into work due to my brother being unresponsive and in route to the hospital. The next person I texted was my boyfriend Adam. Even with it being close to 4am he texted me right back asking to keep him posted and call him as soon as possible. Upon entering the hospital, my mother and step dad were giving my brothers information to a lady. This is when a nurse came and got all of us and said “follow me please”. We walked right pass the waiting room and I remember thinking to myself “thank god that dumb ass is alright and she is taking us to his room.” So here we are walking, walking past the waiting room around the corner and into a small private room with a door. Confused was an understatement. Thats when my mom lost it, she started saying “he’s gone, he’s gone, they don’t put you in these fucking rooms to give you good news, they put you in here so no one can hear you cry”. Keep in mind my poor mother went through this when we lost my dad to a massive heart attack in 96′. Although I was to young to remember, they took her to a very similar room, she knew the drill. Okay, back to us sitting in the room, this is when I started to panic. I remember the tears starting to form in my eyes. In the same moment a nurse knocks on the door of the small room and sits down. She starts by saying they had injected two doses of Naloxone (Narcan) into my brothers system to counteract the heroin, unfortunately neither attempt worked. The next words out of her mouth changed my life forever..”Im so sorry, but we weren’t able to save him.” At that very moment I broke down, I ran from the room and into the nearest bathroom. I remember laying on that cold bathroom floor sobbing. I then called my boyfriend Adam. He couldn’t even make out what I was saying, because I was crying so hard. I remember him telling me, he would be right up to be with me. But in that moment I just wanted to be alone. He understood, and told me to call him when I left the hospital. My family and I were given the opportunity to sit with my brother for a little while, after they removed some tubes and such from him. I’ll never forgot following the nurse through the automatic ER doors and watching my mom just collapse. She had to be wheel chaired into the room. We sat in that room with my brother for several hours.

Walking out of the hospital around 9:30am, the sun was out and shinning bright. Once we made it home I had to call the rest of the family and let them know that we had lost Donnie in the early hours of the morning. Once news broke on social media, my phone as well as my mothers phone was blowing up. I took my mothers phone because it was all just a little too much for her. I remember laying in bed and my eyes being so sore and heavy, but I couldn’t seem to turn my thoughts off.

The next couple of days really tested me as a person. I had to step up a lot. At the age of only 17, here I was helping my mother plan my 22 year old brothers funeral.

My brother Donnie had a smile that could light up an entire room. His personality was truly one of a kind. He was just one of those people that EVERYONE liked. He loved life.

Although my brothers addiction ultimately took his life, he was trying to get his life back on track. He had recently just got his job back and was working full time. He was trying to restore the trust he broke. He was happy.

Before my brother, I didn’t know much about the drug. The thing with heroin is, it only takes one time for everything to come crumbling back down. The thing that keeps me going is I know my brother is safe up in heaven with my dad, and I find comfort in knowing he isn’t in pain anymore. Because of him, I am studying to become an LPC in hopes to work with addicts in recovery. I miss my brother every minuet of everyday, but I know I have the best guardian angel.

He was so much more than my brother, he was my best friend. Love you Bubba.

Sincerely, Chey

 

 

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8 thoughts on “More than a Brother

  1. Reblogged this on Little Gypsy Journal and commented:
    “This is when a nurse came and got all of us and said “follow me please”. We walked right pass the waiting room and I remember thinking to myself “thank god that dumb ass is alright and she is taking us to his room.” So here we are walking, walking past the waiting room around the corner and into a small private room with a door. Confused was an understatement. Thats when my mom lost it, she started saying “he’s gone, he’s gone, they don’t put you in these fucking rooms to give you good news, they put you in here so no one can hear you cry”. “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheyenne, I can only imagine how hard it was to write this post. I felt like I was holding your hand as your post unfolded. You are an amazing writer, keep it up. Honestly, this should be viral

    Much love
    Ash

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you so much for sharing, chey. praying that this outlet gives you the strength to cope and be a positive light for those struggling with addiction. love you and your family so much

    Like

  4. Wow Cheyenne. I think its so brave of you to give us a glimpse of your life. Donnie was a special guy. I just read this and was telling my friend that Donnie was the type everyone loved..sharing the raw and uncut side to addiction is tough but you are helping so many people. I commend you for sharing your story…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your truly so strong to share your story Chey ❤️ … While reading this, I felt as if I could feel your pain, it brought tears to my eyes. The part you wrote…”This is when a nurse came and got all of us and said “follow me please”……..cont. into a small private room with a door.” …. Immediately brought up emotional memories from June 29th, 2009 as they did the same drill to my family and I when we were told that my brother was forever paralyzed. He was in cricital condition, doctors not knowing if he would actually make it threw the night. He was hit by a van while on his street bike, less than 5 min away from home. To this day I still remember that “phone call” and remember exactly what I was in the middle of doing, I dropped everything to head up to the hospital. As I was thinking similar to what you were walking back to “that small private room” hearing that news made me instantly get up out of my chair an walk outside of the room, I could’nt take hearing the sound of everyone crying, I wanted to cry alone by choice. I know my story is a completely different scenario, and I can’t imagine the pain of your loss, 💔I’am listening…

    With love- M.

    Liked by 1 person

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