blogging / Life / writing

Different Paths

Its 2:55 pm



I just wrote a message to a man that I grew up with in a different life. After not hearing from him for 28 years,I got a phone call a few weeks after Lori passed away. I was still in my numb state and I talked with him for over a hour. His life was just trashed beyond belief…he and his were both narcotic users,had a baby,were staying in fleabag motels,absolutely broke,etc,etc….I will say he asked me for nothing which looking back with rather amazing in itself. But that was the last time I talked with him…..until this week. This week he popped up on FB finding me through my brother and using his wife’s profile. That was a bit weird when I got a friend request. I didn’t block it as I usually do when I get a request. The profile mentioned my old hometown so I did ask how this person and I might have known each other.
Then the guy I knew said it was him and didn’t I recognize him from the picture!? Its been 30 years since I have seen him so no,I had no idea who I was looking at. Well,we chatted for a bit before we both signed off.
I got to thinking about it and the past 30 years….how we travel different paths. Some folks I have not seen in 30 years but was able to not only able to pick up the friendship but deepen it as well. But other times its just best just to let it go. I have thought hard about this….it wasn’t easy.
So I wrote him a letter and said my goodbye.  I don’t know if its the right or wrong thing to do…..only that its my choice and I made it.


Been trying to find the right words to put down here ever since we chatted the other night. This isn’t easy for me but it is where my heart is.

I have decided that we should not stay in contact. The reasons are many and various but that simple fact is we don’t know each other anymore. We have not seen each other 30 years and our paths have simply gone in different ways. While I do have some nice memories of Ontario,95% of what I remember is toxic and negative. So many lives destroyed and lost,including Peter. Oh,he died in Bremerton but the damage was done on Sunkist.

I don’t understand how the hell you got where you are today,X. You had such a golden chance to have a good life..serving your country,having a chance to use the G.I. Bill to go to school,a step up in getting a federal or state job. I was stunned when I found out you went AWOL. I couldn’t believe it,I thought it was a bad joke.
But it wasn’t and I guess I am answering my own question as to when you started to slip.
But instead of correcting things,you got into heavy drug use….DESPITE watching so many of our peers die or land in prison because of drugs. Your own brother and sister strung out on heroin for pity’s sake. You knew better….you and I stayed away from that shit,remember? So why you embraced that just boggles the mind.
This is not the X I knew and loved like a brother. That man had honor,courage,a thirst to learn,went to church,could be trusted. That person is long gone.
I still think about your phone call two years ago…you got my number from Christine,I know she told you about what I was going through with losing my wife…but you NEVER once asked about her or how I was doing,not once. Only that you were sleeping outside with no money…..staying in crappy motel rooms,that your wife was a heroin user. I can’t express how angry that made me,X. Yow two CHOSE your destiny,what really is a shame is you brought a child into this shitty world you are in. The old X would have enough moral courage to let the child GO and be adopted because he knows he isn’t even close to being a strong father.  That day may come and with 8 months sober,you do have a chance if you want it. But hearing how you were going to court to try and get him back,well that was the last straw. I don’t know if your wife is even sober,if she even is working. You have no stable housing,no car to be able to take him to the doctors or anywhere else a child needs to go but instead of letting him go and have a chance for a life,you would bring him back and let the cycle start again.
Again,the man I grew up knowing,he would never let that happen. But its your choice…..

I do wish you well. I hope you stay sober,you and your wife.  In another life with different choices,I would have loved to resume a friendship and brotherhood with you.  But as it stands,its not going to be anytime soon and that is my choice. I too,have changed,I am not the same person you know. I have a lot of pain and broken parts and am barely able to put one foot in front of the other. We are on different paths,you and I.

be safe




12 thoughts on “Different Paths

  1. That was a hard letter to write. I hope and pray that X reads and rereads this letter over time. It might be the wake-up he needs. Although you were clear about not wanting to continue a potentially toxic relationship, I hope that X will see the hope you have for him–or for the man he once was. So sad.

    • Andrea,
      It was a hard letter because of who X once was…because he and I were like brothers once. He lived in my home and we treated him like family. To see him get a chance to do great things and then totally go the wrong way…but to perhaps feed his son into the same cruel cycle,that was my breaking point.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. This reminds me of the loss of my own brother, Donnie. We both had cancer at the same time, he fought for his life with all it was worth. I, in return, pitted myself and tried to foolishly commit suicide, because my own fears were bigger than giving them to God. Donnie was a beautiful man, he however made extremely bad choices in life. I, even though I wasn’t perfect, far from it, I lead a totally different life from his. I realize now, that was his wake up call, he wanted to live and fought so hard to stay alive. On the other hand, I was sicker than him, only in mind. Extremely sick. Pray for your friend and as you said, it was your choice, it’s done. You let him and yourself know your fears, just as he did his. Drugs and alcohol addiction does not know the person as we do, but they control them. Drugs don’t care, have no compassion, know s no dispair, and discomfort, as a child does a parent. Michael, I pray for your friend just as I’ll do you. There is clearly a lot of pain and abandonment issues. It may be too late for your friendship to repaired, I truly wish I had one moment with my brother. If he were alive I’d tell him that it was worth the fight. I know now why he fought so hard, I didn’t then. He made his choices before he had cancer just as I did and that doesn’t change my love for him. Sometimes, we need that from other people just to survive. I love you, Michael. 😍

    • Thank you so much Denise for both being brave and for sharing your story. I was not aware of your brother and that he too had cancer.
      I don’t think you were having a pity party when you thought about suicide,you were in a deep night with no or very little light. I face this same challenge even now,there are days I truly wish I wasn’t here…but my friends and my little cheetah help me maintain my footing.
      I love you too,Denise. I have nothing but the highest respect for you and your husband,you are a quite the team!!

  3. This is such an honest post. I think that it was very brave of you to write that letter. I would have done the same thing, I just wouldn’t want to get involved. People change and sometimes we just need to move on with our lives.

    • Sophie,
      Thank you….it wasn’t a easy thing to do,that is for sure. Maybe if the child wasn’t in the picture and I felt like his wife was more involved in her recovery,I might have taken a “wait and see” approach. I know some may think I am being harsh and judgmental about this but you have to realize that is a man that came into his addiction late in life,he was no teen peer pressured into doing this. He knew what he was doing…that is what makes it so maddening…

  4. Hi Michael,
    I too have had to let people go from my life. It’s hard and you sometimes never see it coming. Life takes surprising twists and turns, doesn’t it. I am assuming you are including me as one of the high school friends that you have reconnected with. I’m glad I found you on Facebook. I value your friendship as well~Cezanne

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