You weren’t a bad person.
Growing up, you were my best friend. We talked about our favorite things and our favorite names if we ever had kids. We shared a room together, even sharing a queen sized bed. We were close.
As you got older and got into high school, we drifted apart. But we were still always sisters. I always remember how crazy funny and gifted you were. You were so gorgeous. Your artwork was beautiful and you always knew how to make me laugh. I used to have you do mine and my friends make-up for dances because of how talented you were. I swear we could always joke around about the stupidest stuff and start cracking up, sometimes even get Mom and Dad to laugh a little too. I swear your personality could completely light up a room.
I don’t remember when we started to lose you to heroin. I can remember certain incidents happening and I didn’t fully understand why. Getting in trouble at school, arguing constantly with Mom and Dad, throwing parties at the house with me and our younger sister there. I still remember thinking that it was just what teenagers did.
But it got worse. I remember having to go clean out your condo from your boyfriends house because he put you in the hospital from beating you. I remember you nodding off at family parties and becoming so violent and angry with everyone. I remember researching heroin and its symptoms and finding spoons and baggies. Money and jewelry going missing and mine and our sisters things going missing. Not being there when dad passed. Not being there for mom’s treatments. I remember you changing. We tried to help, especially our older sister, but it seemed like it was truly helpless at times. I couldn’t watch you suffer anymore, so I cut ties with you. I didn’t want you around. I didn’t want people asking me for your number so you could hook them up. Selfish as it was, I didn’t want people to associate me with you.
When I found out I was pregnant, you were sober for awhile. Everyone was so down on me and I was in the car upset and you were the one to calm me down. You told me I was going to be a great mom and I could handle it and you would help me anyway you could. You asked me what I wanted and if I had any names picked out. You seemed like you again and I so badly wanted you to be a part of your nieces or nephews lives. But heroin had it’s way of changing you into someone violent and cruel that I didn’t know and I didn’t want to put my son around.
You met Leo a few times after he was born because you were sober. I wish I could tell you how I really soaked up those moments and wished they would last forever. The bad times lasted for so long and were so often that the good times were only glimpses.
I knew things were only getting worse, in and out of hospitals and jail and getting into more trouble then you should have. People, police, paramedics, and family told me you couldn’t keep going at this rate and that I needed to accept the fact you weren’t going to be around much longer. I brushed it off because I saw it as you making it seven years as an addict, you could probably make seven more and seven more after that.
After getting the call of your overdosing and passing at work on September 17th, I didn’t know how to feel. Wasn’t our family going through enough, mom being sick and Dad being gone for almost two years? How could you do this? How could I have cut you off? How could you leave your family? Why did mom and our youngest sister have to find you? We just wanted you to get better. I wanted a third aunt for my son and my friend back. I’d never get that again. I remember seeing the outpouring of support and people that loved you at your service. Why couldn’t you see that? It isn’t fair. Our family went from six to four in less than two years.
You were 27 years old. You were too young. You should not have left this world the way you did. Heroin is a disgusting demon that no one should ever experience. I can sit around and wonder all day why you chose to do it and why you made it your life. Or I can sit there and ask why it chose you. Why did it choose to make you and our family it’s victim?
Days go by and it doesn’t get easier. I think about what you could’ve done with your life. Would you have had a family? A job? A wedding? Anything? I try and remember the good times, before heroin took you and those are the reasons I smile and tell people your story if they ask. Because I knew the Laura before that. I knew the real Laura. I will mourn for her everyday and it probably won’t get easier. All I can do now is tell my son about the amazing person you were and find a way to keep my Laura’s story alive.
You, the Laura I knew, is now our angel.