My friend Cay beautifully shares the story of her nephew Aaron's addiction.
I was especially thankful that she included how her children felt about Aaron's withdrawal from the family. My children and my other nieces and nephews felt that with Corey, too, taking it personally. Hopefully, Cay's post and mine will help other families realize that it is just symptomatic of the disease, nothing else.
I am kicking myself for not seeking Corey out and overwhelming him with assurances of our love. Instead, I let him dictate the relationship, thinking we had time. Though Beverly and I are very close, she was reticent about Corey's illness. She and Stephen essentially carried this heavy burden alone for years. The distance between our homes--from Houston to Birmingham, also worked against us.
Corey's sister Caitlin, my daughter Emma, and my niece Kaley spent a good deal of time studying the family photos at Corey's funeral. It was a start on putting it all in perspective, trying to mend the hole that Corey's suffering and death left in the fabric of our family--not closing Corey out, just stitching around the raw edges.
That, I am happy to report, seems to be how the family is handling this tragedy. We are pulling together, seeking each other out across the miles and trying our best to move forward. I think we have all grown in charity, with a new awareness and sensitivity to the trials of others.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.