It seems like yesterday when this photo was taken. Mom, stood proud and tall with her four children; Cerves- her oldest son, Theresa- her youngest daughter and Lawrence and Lorraine- her fraternal twins. It was a few days after my Dad’s funeral that’s why he’s not in the photo. My older brother and his wife, Liz were headed back to California, so we decided to take one last photo. On that day, little did I know this would be the last photo with all four siblings. Over the next few years there would be lots of phone calls, Christmas presents, birthday cards, graduations and celebrations… but there would never be another photo with Mom standing proud and tall with all four of her children. On that day, little did I know that a few years later my twin brother would lose his battle with addiction and die from a drug overdose and never again be part of our lives.
Larry (Lawrence) struggled with his addictions for many years and I knew he was struggling that day. I knew because he always wore dark sunglasses whenever he got high. His sunglasses hid his fiery red eyes which was a dead give-away whenever he got high. We struggled as a family to try to help him and help ourselves. We never talked about his addiction outside of the family. At times we were frightened, confused and overwhelmed, but there was nowhere to go. No one to talk to. Our isolation made us feel like we were the only family in the world with a loved one battling an addiction. We thought we were all alone.
There are 23 million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol.