There was the Christmas

you sent gifts via Amazon

for me to distribute

because you were going to be gone

to some mysterious destination,

scouting out a location

to start a new life

without us.

When I called to wish you a Merry Christmas

and asked you where you were,

you hatefully replied,

“Why?  Do you miss me?”


Mom and I

had to drive to


in the middle of the week

one summer

to retrieve you,

racing against the clock,

trying to make it before

someone reported you to the police

as you continued to have

a public meltdown

all over the city.

If you got committed

out of state,

we couldn’t visit you

every day

and Mom would

worry herself sick.


Before you were diagnosed,

we would have the strangest arguments,

my feelings deeply hurt.

Sitting in the theater lobby,

as you dumped all the family’s problems

on me,

as if the invitation to a movie

was an ambush for the guilt trip



I love you,

but there are moments

I take a deep breath

and feel grateful

that you are gone.