What is it about a sibling? We love them and sometimes we hate them. Yet, at the times when we hate them, we’d fight Satan himself if he said a bad word against our sister or brother. It’s one thing to lose a parent, but when a sibling dies, it’s very different. Furthermore, when they die at a young age, it’s unnatural. If addiction has touched you personally, then you will understand this post. If it has not, consider yourself lucky. My brother was dependent upon pot and alcohol at first. This gave way to his wife finding a needle, which later caused a divorce. Eventually, he swallowed pills, smoked meth, swallowed more pills and died at 30 years old. He’s the little boy in the far left in the picture below. This is my favorite childhood photo. I’m about 12 here.
As a writer, I write about things that move me. Yes, this is the third consecutive post about The Latchiko’s. Forgive me. Their music moves me. I’m way beyond silly crushes on handsome and talented musicians, so I hope you don’t think that’s what this post is about. Being a writer, I love words. When the right music is added to the right lyrics in the most perfect way, then it becomes much more than a song. It becomes magical AND real to me, and in this case – very personal. It is my hope after you read this piece, that their music will move you in magical ways too.
This morning, I awoke at 4:30 am by what felt like a slight whisper on my heart and a soft voice in my ear saying, “Sister, time to wake up.” Weird, because I live alone. It was my brother Charlie’s presence. He died in 2006. I awoke with such a feeling of calmness and warmth. He continued to nudge me as I played track #10 from this wonderful CD, and hit repeat, repeat, repeat over and over again. I’d listen, press pause, then write. Press play, listen, press pause, write more, press play. Listen, then cry. You see, track #10 is “Dropkick”. It’s such a sad, poignant song about addiction and the desire for recovery. The lyrics and music are both tear-jerking yet hopeful at the same time.
For 10 minutes, The Latchiko’s take you on a musical journey of what it must be like to be dependent on things that are so dangerous they’re scary. The music mirrors the hero’s path; slow at first, just as life must be in recovery. Then it picks up. Faster and faster and happier and happier music reflect a more joyful life. The phoenix rises from the ashes in this song. By the end, you’re in love with the hero’s uphill battle and feel so overcome with relief that he saw the light at the end of the abyss.
Of my four younger brothers, I’ve watched three of them battle demons of alcohol and drug abuse. With so many resources for the addicted, Charlie should have sought help. I miss him so much my heart hurts, some days more than others. Today is one of those days. Just because good people make bad choices, it doesn’t make one a bad person. If you know an addict, please encourage them to seek help. When addicts use, they lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, and deceive you…over and over again, because we let them. As we hand over money, food, or a place to crash, we think, “Man, I wish he’d straighten up,” or, “He’s just sorry to be in that state,” or even, “If he loved us, he’d get clean.” But, we cannot begin to fathom the power that addiction holds over its victims. Then, when it’s too late, we (the enablers) carry such blame and guilt; a kind of guilt which is hard to forgive, even years later.
Oh how I wish my brother was the hero in ‘”Dropkick,” but am so very happy for Aindrias. Click on the link below to watch a simple performance of this very moving and sad song. In some of the shots, his eyes glow from what I can only assume is happiness and joy, what a testament to his spirit and character.
You can find out more about them at their website www.thelatchikos.com where you can get this wonderful music for yourself. I can talk about this CD all day, but until you hear it for yourself...you have no idea how moving it is.