Today is a very special day, since three of the people I care about most were born today. I want to wish my nephew Nick, my adopted big brother Brian and most of all, Ellie–the woman I love most of all–a very happy birthday.
I hope that today finds brings them health, happiness and a fantastic year to come.
Nick, my oldest nephew, was born today, in 2001, and is, in many ways, the only good thing that came out of that horrific year.
Brian was someone I met through work back in the summer of 1999. I met some of the most important people in my life that summer, including Gee. He was a temp, filling in for one of the first-line support engineers that were contracted to help with service desk calls at the Washington, DC bureau of Reuters. He only worked there for the one day from what I remember, but we hit it off really well and became friends.
To give you an idea of how close a friend Brian is to me, he was a groomsman at my wedding to Gee the following year, and one of Gee’s pallbearers the next year. I haven’t seen him since he, Katy and their children moved back to California. I wish they lived closer.
Most of all, I really wish I could have spent today with Ellie. But that is not possible because of her illness and the changes it has wrought in her and her life. Her addictions make it impossible for me to be with her, and make it so that I don’t want to be with her. In many ways, there is nothing left of the woman I love as far as I can see.
So, I’ll mourn her and grieve for her, and celebrate the time we did have together, both as friends and as something more. That’s all I really can do at this point. Even though it has been over nine months since I last saw her, I pray for her every day, and hope that her knowing that at least one person loves her may make the difference in whether she is able to beat her addictions.
I hope she is doing well academically, since it is likely that if she does as poorly as she did last semester that she would lose her scholarship and be forced to drop out of the college of her choice, as her brother had to do two years ago.
I hope her counselor has helped her see that she does have a problem with drugs and alcohol, regardless of what her friends and family think. I hope whomever she is seeing for counseling is able to get her to admit she is an addict and to seek help for herself. The longer she is an active alcoholic and drug-addict, the harder it will be for her to break free of her addictions and the less likely any treatment she gets will succeed. The longer she is drinking and smoking marijuana, the more damage she will do the her mind, body, and health.
The longer she lives with the lies she has been telling herself, the more likely she is to begin to believe them. I pray that God gives her the strength, the courage, and the will to fight her addictions. I hope she remembers that God can not help her if she chooses to refuse His help. I also hope she realizes that it is very unlikely that God has planned for her to become a drug-addicted alcoholic–that she chose that path for herself, and only she can choose to change where her life is headed.
The truth of who Ellie and I were to each other is pretty clear in this photo, taken two years ago today, at her birthday dinner–one she texted me a half-dozen times to make sure I would be there, whether she remembers or admits it or not.
May God watch over my beloved Ellie. God bless her and protect her, even from herself. May God grant her the strength, courage, and will to fight her addictions and return to being her true self. May God grant her the wisdom to see the truth—both about her illness and about us.