This New Year's marks the 25th anniversary of my brother's death. I've realized lately that many of you didn't know about my brother until recently, or at all. It took me over 20 years to even really be able to talk about it. In March 2010, I started speaking at Victim's Impact Panels and it has really helped me deal with some of the emotions I had been stuffing down for years. I'll try to tell the story briefly here.
New Year's Day 1987, my family's life was changed because of drinking and driving. I remember waking up super early that morning to the phone ringing. My ex-husband and I were in San Antonio visiting his family for the holidays. My aunt was calling to tell me that my brother Bill had been killed shortly after midnight. Turns out he and some friends went out celebrating New Year's. They had all been drinking and had a wreck on a deserted county road. Bill was thrown from the pickup and killed instantly. It is hard to even remember the emotions that ran through me when I heard. I didn't believe it. I was screaming "NO, NO, NO". I was angry. I was heartbroken.
Bill was 18 years old. He had just finished his first semester of college. He didn't get to get married and have a family. He didn't get to know his nieces and nephews. They only know him through pictures and stories (and there are some good stories!).
It's hard to lose someone you love. But it's even worse when it happens because of something that could have been prevented. With that being said, I beg of you, please don't drive under the influence!!! Call a cab, call a friend, stay where you are, call me! I want to be able to spend time with each one of you in 2012.