I am participating in SoCS hosted by Linda G. Hill (click on the link for the ping back to the original blog post and to see the rules). Today’s prompt is “starts with over.”
The word “overwhelmed” is what sprung to mind first. This week has been a difficult one. My brother’s dog Krieger passed away. He was almost 11 years old and sadly developed lymphoma. He made it 3 months before the disease progressed to his liver, and then he quickly took a turn for the worse. Unable to keep food down, and clearly in pain, my parents made the tough decision to put him to sleep. They didn’t want him to suffer.
My brother died nearly 9 years ago, leaving Krieger in my parents care. For 9 years, Krieger served as a living reminder of my brother — and now, he too, is gone. My brother, stolen from this world by a selfish piece of garbage who decided to get behind the wheel while high on drugs. My brother, an air force reservist, and a police officer, who served his country and community was taken away, while the career criminal served only 6 years in jail for his death.
The justice system failed us. It failed us when they gave early release to the garbage that killed my brother. Over crowding, they said. Within 4 days of that release, my brother was dead. It failed us again for giving 8+8 years concurrent instead of 8+8 consecutive. Again, it was up to the Judge’s discretion.
Sometimes, it makes me ashamed to be a lawyer — to be a part of a system where “justice” is more illusion than fact.
I don’t understand. I will never understand. My brother was literally the type of person who would give you the shirt off his back, even if he didn’t have a spare.
During hurricane Sandy, our neighbor’s ranch house was completely flooded. They lost nearly everything, and everything had to be stripped and rebuilt. It was basically a gut renovation. After working triple shifts (because of Sandy) my brother would spend his free time helping them rebuild. For free. He even bought them lumber at the store.
Another time he noticed that a Jewish man was walking on a dark, busy and dangerous street at night (it was the Sabbath and riding in a vehicle was forbidden). After seeing him several times, my brother bought him a reflexive vest so that it would be safer for him to walk along the busy road. When he saw him again, my brother got out of the car, and gave it to the man.
That was the type of guy my brother was. And now he is gone. And the career criminal lives on, out of jail and free to commit more crimes. He felt no remorse for killing my brother. He never offered more than a mumbled fake apology. Killing my brother was just another crime in a slew of crimes. He spent more of his life in jail than out. This person will never be redeemed. He will never be anything more than a drain on society.
But yet my brother is gone.
Somehow, over the years the pain has lessened, but it never goes away. Sometimes its worse, like when I’m watching a movie I know he would like. Or when I think that my daughter will never know him except for what I tell her.
Or sometimes, something happens, like the death of a beloved, spoiled pet, that brings up everything again.
I can only hope that the two of them are somewhere together again, going for runs at the beach, playing ball at the park, and wrestling on the floor.