The official site of author Ruth McLeod-Kearns

Ruth McLeod-Kearns is an advocate for opiate/heroin overdose, author, creator of the I'll Bring the Coffee blog series and a contributing writer for Things Women Want Freedom of Expression magazines.

Here, you can connect with the author, follow her social media accounts and download the thought-provoking novelettes. As always, she'll bring the coffee.


Nothing feels good about being in a crowd of people, yet you feel nothing but loneliness.  Of course, I realize that there are many worse fates, but this is a bad place to stand.  It is where I am perched right now.

Being the youngest of six had its advantages and its disadvantages.  I never saw either choice.  When I was young, I adored my siblings, especially when my mom was sick, had made attempts on her own life and had to “go away” for a bit.  In those times, they were my life line.  That was an eternity ago.   

Our family hit some really rough patches through those years.  I depended on my siblings to protect me, even though I really didn’t understand how utterly I relied on them.  My one sister got me dressed, fed me a piece of toast, and got me to school on before the first bell.  If we didn’t leave on time, nobody drove, so her efforts were for the privilege of driving.  I thought she just really loved me.  I wish I still held that thought.

We had times of violence, police at the Hunt’s house “again,” chaos was our king.  We obeyed our ruler, even at the cost we had to pay.  When it was really bad, that same sister would grab me and we would hide in the closet.  I remember her putting the covers over our heads and she would whisper sweet things in my ear, partly to keep me from being so scared, but mostly to keep us out of the quagmire of terrible that was happening on the other side of the door.  I will always be grateful for that, even though there has been so many betrayals by her hands since then.

After mom died, all of a sudden these kids started showing up regularly like we were right off the set of the Walton's.  Lies, all of it.  Lies.  Remember the letter I read from my mom?  She was telling the truth about my kids being the only grandkids who visited, who knew her even just a little.  My brothers kids never were given the chance to come to their own conclusions about my mom.  They went decades without even a visit.  None of them even came to her funeral.  I love those boys, though I know them as well as my mom knew them.  Not really at all.

I don’t mean to sound bitter, yet that is exactly how I feel sometimes.  I won’t go so far as to say they are his best friends for the will, but I do wonder.  I for one hope he spends every last cent he has.  I will bury him, and I will pay for it.  I wonder if they will even show up on the day we lay him next to my mom.  If he isn’t there to take roll call, I wouldn’t be surprised to not see one of them there.  Bet you they will manage to be sitting in the attorney’s office who manages my dad’s estate.

They aren’t terrible people.  But if we weren’t placed in the same home, I wouldn’t be friends with them.  Except one, and she is in an eternal slumber.  My grief is heavy and unrelenting.  The people who loved me, are long gone.  

What has brought this up?  Could it be that my brother has been here for many days, but I hear later about the things they have done together?  They seem ashamed when I find out  about these trips. They are standing there trying to blend into the scenery, away from the look of hurt I let show, despite my best effort.

What do I do?  I have tried to make amends too many times.  And I just can’t do it again.  Every time I walk away feeling like I have at least a part of my family back.  It is a myth.  A lie that is displayed for my dad.  I walk out before I open my mouth and fire away at the things I have wanted to say for so long.

Things like “Why didn’t you show up for Bonnie’s funeral?”  “Couldn’t your kids arrange a day or two to say good-bye to their grandmother?”  I know the answer.  I have this knowledge because these are the same people who told me that I don’t know what it feels like to lose a brother.  Because he was the only one with a  "blood brother."  But I do know. I loved him.  I was devastated when he died.  The fact he wasn’t my "blood brother" didn’t mean a thing.  I loved him.  I miss him.  They can’t tell me other wise. The one who chooses to claim another group as his family should not be standing in my dad’s house pretending to be there for him.  Why now?  Thinking of his money?  Sounds crude, but it is the truth.  They couldn’t show up once during the time my mom was starting to be sick and scared? But now they are here? What would you think?

They always resented that I had a relationship with my mom, that my kids knew her.  She was difficult, but they accepted her even when I had a hard time doing so.  But even when she frustrated me, I was there when she needed me.  I loved her even through her weaknesses.  I knew she suffered from mental illness that almost took her down many times.  But I always loved her, and she knew this.  So they may have resentment against me for that, but they can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

To my knowledge, my brother has gone to the grave once.  My sister has never been there.  Never.  Again, they have hurt me.  The specifics don’t matter.  Pain is pain.  Each time I swear this will be the last time.  I make that pledge now: again.  I love my dad.  I need him.  But I will wait for them to go before I show up.  I can’t stand the fake roles we all fall into when we are together.  I am done pretending.  I am tired of being hurt.  Just too fatigued to do this again.  Just too much.  I hate being bitter.  I stand in pieces, waiting for the day I will see the ones I love again. It cannot be too soon.

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Understanding the Epidemic: Drug overdose deaths continued to increase in 2015", 12/16/16