It is difficult to comprehend that it was one year ago today that my brother, Michael, aka "Smiley" died after being struck and dragged by a hit and run driver, barrelling through an alley at the wheel of a rental car for which he had neither license nor insurance. Michael lingered for four days and died one day before my birthday.
I will not rehash the story, but strange things can happen in a year. For the past many months, I have been in court to represent my brother along side the state's attorney. I see his killer enter the courtroom armed with his thuggish friends. They watch me. They slouch in their seats. They are often late. The laws seemed written to protect him and his rights. He has never shown one iota of remorse. In fact, the last time I was in court, October 17, it looked like this guy would get off because the witnesses are afraid to come forward and without eye witnesses there is no one to publicly state what so many called the police to report that November night. As I've said before, I understand not coming forward. We've all heard of cases where witnesses were not protected and lost their lives trying to do the right thing. This guy has known gang affiliation and is a rumored drug dealer. On many occasions, I will admit to leaving the courtroom with murderous thoughts about him. His cavalier disposition enrages me. I know I should have better self-control, but I don't and apologies will not be forth coming.
About several weeks ago, this same guy was involved in a serious traffic accident, with him at the wheel. The four occupants were transported to two hospitals with three in seriously condition. He suffered the gravest injuries. He was not expected to live out the first week and had been kept in a medically-induced coma. Although he remains in serious condition and in and out of consciousness, he has survived several surgeries. A few days ago, one of his legs was amputated. He cannot speak and has had to have some internal organs repaired. "IF" he lives, the word is that he will never be able to use his limbs and his cognitive functioning is uncertain.
Despite the times I've wanted to personally kill this guy, the news of his accident did not make me happy. It made me sad. It didn't need to be this way. His mother today is in the same place my mother has been in, that is, praying that her son will survive. No matter how despicable this guy is, he was and is some one's child. Had he just admitted what he had done, I think, in my heart I would have been more forgiving. My mother, siblings and the extended family have long ago, put this whole matter "in the hands of the Lord." To that I say, "God known my limitations." I went to court! I wanted him to know that someone speaks for Michael. I wanted him pay for what he had done.
Yet, from the moment I heard the horrible news about his accident, I've been sad.
Sad that he lived his life in a way that made the adage, "What goes around, comes around," rap hard on his door. Sad that his family will know the same grief we have lived. Sad that exactly one year ago today, Michael died. Sad that whether this guy lives or dies, he is right now experiencing a hellish pain on a level to which we are not privy. Even sad that a strange otherworldly source of justice may have intervened. All those times I thought I'd be happy if he didn't exist. I am not.
Somewhere, at some point, this guy lost his way and didn't care whom he hurt along his path to nowhere. Very sad indeed.
I plan a birthday ride tomorrow. I shall ride with my passenger pegs down in remembrance of Smiley.