My brother, Russ  January 1, 1961 - October 6, 2007

I love you, Russ


Lord, Does Your Heart Break for My Brother?

Does your heart break for my brother

Do you see him there lonely, afraid, and in pain

Every turn, every choice bringing more

Like rivers raging with melting snow and heavy rain


Does your heart break for my brother

His losses are more than I could bear

Beginning from the pain of his childhood

Left wondering if anyone cares


Does your heart break for my brother

Do you see the shambles of his life

Yes, now results of his choices

Numbing feelings that cut deep like a knife


Does your heart break for my brother

Who has lost everything he once held dear

And now each new day awaits him

With uncertainty, loneliness, and fear


Does your heart break for my brother

Do you look on his dying soul

He believes he has nothing to live for

His future, a gaping hole


Does your heart break for my brother

Do your tears fall like this heavy rain

Do you wish you could hold him and soothe him

And take away all his pain


Does your heart break for my brother

Canít you please help him to see

That in you is hope for his future

With you, he can truly be free


Yes, your heart breaks for my brother

You know his secrets, his pain, his sorrow

And each day he turns from your love for him

You patiently wait for tomorrow

                                                                           By annie, February 2007


My brother died because he couldn't quit drinking alcohol.  His pancreas was shot first, then he began having trouble with his heart, and finally, his body was unable to fight off a staff infection.  This is a poem I wrote about him, and was really a prayer to God.  I sent it to him before he died, but I don't know if he really understood.  I hope he did.  I hope he allowed God's love to flood his heart before he died.  I truly want to see him again someday.

My brother was abused as a child by a male member of our family.  He disclosed this to me the last time I saw him.  I'll always regret I didn't get a chance to talk again with him about it in depth and find out how much of the pain in his life resulted from that abuse and other abuses as well.  He lost his home, his job, and his wife due to alcohol.  I can't imagine the pain that caused him, but even after his losses, he still couldn't quit. 

Admitting the truth about someone doesn't mean we love them less or that they were less than anyone else.  It's just stating a fact about his life, and hopefully, his struggle with alcohol can help someone else decide to not go down that same path, if already drinking,  stop before the alcohol has control.  I love my brother dearly and I wish I could have helped him.

Russ was a great guy.  He was funny and he was caring.  He was good with my son, Kevin.  He took him fishing and out in his boat.  He also took me fishing in his boat.  That's the only time I got to fish was when he came with us to Harstein Island. 

Some memories I have of him:

He would get into fights with his dad.  Pretty soon Russ would throw one of Paul's shoes out the door, then Paul would get something of Russ's and toss it outside, too.  I don't know how many things they would throw outside, and I wish I knew if any neighbors saw it.  They would have had to laugh.

Russ and Timmy came to our place when I had a slumber party for my high school girls Sunday School class.  I walked into the living room, and there was Russ and Timmy smiling at me through the window and waving.  I had to tell them they couldn't come in.  They stood outside talking to the girls most of the night, then slept for awhile in their car.

Russ made costumes for one of our Halloween parties.  They were made of cardboard, but looked so good.

It's that time of year again. Never really notice the dates, but I do know I dream more of you during this Halloween month and I miss you more and still cry tears for you...and my heart still aches for you. You were the brother who really opened his heart to me. I appreciated that so much. Kathy had told me you reread my letter over and over again. How I wish you could have told me how you were feeling when you read it. Were you thinking of your own loss and wishing to open up to me then. I so wish I'd been able to come back to Washington and continue our conversation that was cut too short. I'll always wonder if I could have helped more. Usually they say family can't help family. But I so wanted to. I wanted to wrap my arms around you and tell you how loved you were and help soothe all the hurts. I'm so sorry for the way your life sorry for all you suffered as a child, and then the addiction and pain of your teens and adulthood. I miss you....even though I couldn't see you much, you were there. I'm so sorry life didn't turn out better for you, Russ. I do hope to see you when I cross over to the next life. I want you to be there to welcome me in. I love you still.

your loving sister, annie