Rolling Without Limits

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Heroes Come in All Shapes and Sizes
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Heroes Come in All Shapes and Sizes

When I was born, my parents knew I was going to be very tiny, so they told my older brother Andy that I was his baby sister and he was supposed to take care and watch over me. He took that job very seriously. Andy always protected me. I always felt safe when he was around. We had a very special and close relationship. He was my hero.

Unfortunately for Andy, he was the kind of kid that was always into trouble, practically from the word "Go". He started getting into trouble at a very young age. Stealing, lying--he just couldn't seem to keep his nose clean. Then, around the age of twelve, he discovered drugs, and eventually alcohol. Now he was off and running, and there was no stopping him. I remember as a teen, watching him do his drugs, crying and begging him not to do it. He would always promise me "This is the last time", but it never was. I didn't realize at the time, he had diseases called drug addiction and alcoholism, and they had a strong hold on him.

When he was sober and drug free, Andy was the best brother you could ask for. He had such a big heart, and he would give you the shirt off of his back if he thought you needed it. I even remember times he took the blame for something I had done, so that I wouldn't get into trouble. I'd ask him why he did that, and he's say "it's ok, I'm used to it", I'd want to tell my parents that I was the one that did it, but he never let me.

One incident sticks out in my mind.  When I was a teenager, my best friend and I were walking home from school and a car full of older guys pulled up beside us. They were yelling stuff out the windows and they asked us if we wanted to go for a ride. We were scared and said "No". Then one of the guys said "Hey aren't you Baca's little sister?"  I said "Yes". He then yelled at the driver, "Let's get out of here, that's Baca's little sister and he'll come after us."  They drove off, squealing their tires. I didn't know what any of that meant, but I was just glad they were gone. I could never understand why people were afraid of Andy, because he really wasn't a very tall or strong guy. But I was always grateful he was my big brother, and that he watched over me.

As his disease progressed, so did his troubles. When he was old enoug,h he joined the Army. I often wondered if it was just to stay out of jail. He got stationed in Korea. I remember times when he would call me from a pay phone. He'd say: "I just need to hear you laugh". That brings tears to my eyes, because I know he missed me and he wanted to feel close. I missed him like crazy. I wanted my big brother home.

While he was in Korea, Andy met his future wife and they had two beautiful children. Andy was so proud. He loved his kids with all his heart. He wanted to be a good dad, and he tried, but things got messed up, and his disease progressed to the point of no return. His wife separated from him and eventually the state took away his kids. That broke his heart. He was never the same after that. He tried to go on. He fought for visitation and sometimes Child Protective Services let him see his kids, and sometimes they didn't. There was no rhyme or reason as to how or why they did what they did. He just had to take what he could get.

Andy felt like he was losing his kids, and it was breaking his heart. I think in his mind, he felt like he couldn't live without them. Finally one day when he was drunk and high, and very depressed, he decided that he couldn't do it anymore. He thought his kids would be better off without him, so he took his own life. I was devastated, I still needed him, and so did his kids, but the pain and disease was stronger than our love.

So he went home to be with Jesus at the young age of 26. Even though he's been gone for over 30 years, I still miss him, and he is still my hero. It helps knowing that he didn't leave because he didn't love us. He had a disease and it took him, and I pray that he finally found peace in his heart.

 

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  1. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    Very profound. Voted. I'm sure that his kids and you miss him so very much. Just a reminder that you owe me a vote.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks
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      1. pftsusan
        pftsusan
        Um your vote?
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  2. Teresa Thomas
    Teresa Thomas
    Vote #4. Wow! Sorry to hear about your brother taking his own life. I know how that goes. I had lost my brother at the age of 18. I had thought at the time, that he had committed suicide. However, I was informed, that someone had killed him. How true that is, I do not know. However, my oldest brother has been gone since 1979 nonetheless. Mine left because of the divorce between my parents. Say, I noticed, that you had voted on my new post. Stop by and comment if you would. That is only the beginning of what I am about to talk about of my past. I believe, that by writing it down, it's releasing the pain that i had suffered over the years when I was little. Maybe I can finally, get over this pain and that, it won't haunt me anymore as it has these past 40 some odd years. Say, Audrey, do me a favor and give me your email address in a message on face book. I'm going to do something. I'm going to invite you to another writing web site. Alright?
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks, sorry about your loss too
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  3. Barby Baldwin
    How very very sad Lil Nana. But thanks for sharing this story also.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Barby
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  4. Susan Keeping
    Susan Keeping
    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you for sharing with us.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Susan
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  5. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Reading your story, I had started imagining abt your brother....nd as I can see, he looks so cute even here.......am really sad to know about him....wish he was there with you and you could share so much with him....I know, how special are brothers........God bless you......and him, wherever he is!Voted!
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thank you
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  6. sweedly
    sweedly
    Hearing your story about your brother brought tears to my eyes. I am sorry you lost him, first to drugs and alcoholism, and growing up with that pain and then for him to be gone. Thanks for sharing. Voted.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks
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  7. SignLanguage
    You wouldn't happen to remember what made him start? Normally there's a good explanation... As for why those guys took off when you said that Baca is your brother, it could just very easily be because they were his buddies, too. Even if it seemed like they were afraid, it may have been a 'Holy s**t, wrong girl! Let's get out of here before he finds out!'. No guy wants to see his buddies 'doing' his little sister, whether nicely or not. I've seen friendships end because of that. Anyways, voted for you. I can't say I fully understand what you're going through, but my brother almost managed to take his own life... Even if he is still alive, he's psychologically gone. He's broken for life and will never recover. So, really - would it have been better if he succeeded? I sometimes think so. Voted. Please stop by my new post, The Hidden Face of Alexander Graham Bell, when you have the chance.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks, my heart goes out to you and your brother
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  8. snowball
    snowball
    I knew some of the story, but not all of it. I know also that this was probably the hardest thing you had to go through. I'm sure he found peace in his heart and is happy with your Mom and Dad. I also hope you found peace in yours. Love You so much, Mom
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Mom & Dad, I love you too
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  9. Broken English
    Broken English
    Voted. So sorry to hear about your brother, that is tragic. Depression is such a terrible thing in what it can do to people, I know as I suffer badly from it myself, and I had a former partner who made a suicide attempt. On a more cheerful note, come and check out my latest blog, A Disabled Man's Best Friend, and please vote if you like it. :-)
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks, yes depression is a very hard thing to go thru and live with
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  10. Rene
    Rene
    Voted. This is so touching, & so very close to my heart. I lost my 2 brothers to this disease 27 & 23 years ago. I may never understand why things happened the way they did, but I'm thankful that God does & all I have to do is trust Him.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Rene, I know, this disease affects the whole family
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