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10 May 2017 @ 11:30 pm
Any Lucky Penny Will Do Fine.  
We had a loss in the family today. My father's roommate, one of my little brother's closest friends, someone we'd all known nearly 20 years, since he was a 15 year old boy, passed away this morning.

There were four boys - two brothers, Lucky, and then my little brother. They all met as teenagers. They all bonded as brothers. They grew up together and stayed close, even as they grew into adults. When my mom threw my little brother out at 16, one of their parents took him in. When my brother was living with my dad at 17 and found out Lucky was living in the park more or less, my father took him in. These four boys - men now - introduce themselves as foster-brothers, and it is pretty much the truth.


Lucky, when he was 12, got leukemia. He fought tooth and nail to beat it, and he did, but the treatments decimated his health. He never grew past age 12. He had lung damage, among other things. On top of that, he drank far too much for his liver and everywhere he lived, someone smoked, further damaging his lungs. He got the name Lucky though, not just for beating his illness, but because inevitably, no matter where they went, Lucky was always the one who went home with the girl.

Ten years ago he was living with a smoker, on government disability, when my brother hadn't heard from him in three days so went to check. Lucky was in bed, high fever, cough, hadn't been able to get up to eat, drink or use the bathroom in like two days. His roommate? Blaise and unconcerned, not his problem. My brother called an ambulance. After a few days in the hospital, they told him he could go home, but not to a smoking roommate. He had nowhere else to go, but they said returning to that apartment would kill him in a matter of weeks. He was too stubborn to call his mom. He was going home. My brother was pissed and called my dad. Dad in turn called Lucky. Lucky protested. Dad told him to shut the hell up and get his stuff together, he was moving into my brother's old room. Lucky shut the hell up. He and Dad have lived together ten years now. It made us feel better, knowing Dad had someone else in the house. It made Lucky's family feel better too. Plus he finally got to have his dog back from when he'd had to leave her at his mom's. It'd been a year since my dad's dog had died and it was perfect timing for him to have another animal too. They both adored that dog.

Over time he went from just needing his oxygen at night, to needing it for a simple trip to the refrigerator. This past weekend Lucky went to visit his mom and didn't come home. Last night his sister called to confirm Dad's suspicions that Lucky had ended up in the hospital. It was bad and Lucky was ready to be done fighting it all. His lungs were done. His body was done. He was done. This morning he woke up, saw all of his family asleep in his hospital room, said, "Damn, they all went before me," closed his eyes and, in less than a half hour, was gone.

My dad inviting him into his home like that gave Lucky ten more years. As my sister said today, that may be the greatest thing my dad has ever done, giving that kid ten years he didn't have otherwise. He wasn't quite my brother, but he was my brother's brother and my father's son, and that makes him family. That bedroom at the end of the hallway will forever be Lucky's room.

Goodbye, Calvin. You'll be missed.
 
 
 
Shireboundshirebound on May 11th, 2017 03:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this with us. This is so moving and full of love.

*tight, comforting hugs*
dodger_sister: comfortdodger_sister on January 17th, 2018 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this with us. This is so moving and full of love.

*tight, comforting hugs*


Thank you. It was strange this Christmas, to not have Lucky at Dad's dining room table. I don't think my little brother will ever stop fully grieving for his friend, his brother. <3
Kate: taking wingceitfianna on May 11th, 2017 03:46 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you for sharing about him.
dodger_sister: comfortdodger_sister on January 17th, 2018 09:48 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you for sharing about him.

Lucky behaved like a crotchety old man his whole life & yet he was so loved. And now he is so missed. <3
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on May 12th, 2017 03:16 am (UTC)
Awww man. Sorry for your loss, and hugs to everyone.

PS your dad sounds like an awesome person.

Edited at 2017-05-12 03:17 am (UTC)
dodger_sister: comfortdodger_sister on January 17th, 2018 10:00 pm (UTC)
Awww man. Sorry for your loss, and hugs to everyone.

Thank you. I feel most bad for my little brother, who celebrated Christmas this year without his mom or his brother. So strange that the room at the end of Dad's hall sits empty now.

PS your dad sounds like an awesome person.

I'll tell you, when we were growing up, Dad was functioning with an undiagnosed/untreated mental illness. So things were tough for us kids at times. But he's been treated now for 20 years and though he can still be a bit of a right-wing conspiracy nut, he has changed into a whole new person. He was always nice and welcoming to our friends at the house, but if someone ha a problem, well that was for their family to take care of. It's the person's family business and no one else's. But now he has come to realize that not all families step up, not everyone has a family to rely on or a family in a position to help even. And sometimes other people have to reach out and help a friend, help a neighbor, if they need it. And it's made him a better person, that realization. What he did for Lucky was the best thing anyone in Lucky's life could have done for him and I am so amazed and proud of my dad for that. <3
Jo Ann: Angel hug sadyeuxdebleu on May 12th, 2017 05:42 am (UTC)
What an amazing, powerful story of love and perseverance. Your dad was such a kind person throughout Lucky's life. I'm so sorry for this loss...for ALL of you.
dodger_sister: comfortdodger_sister on January 17th, 2018 10:11 pm (UTC)
What an amazing, powerful story of love and perseverance. Your dad was such a kind person throughout Lucky's life. I'm so sorry for this loss...for ALL of you.

Thank you. Lucky had such a rough young life, not just with his health but with his home situation at times, and that my dad saw that and reached out to Lucky when he needed it, it never ceases to amaze me.

Dad always said he wished he could help me more, wished he could have taken me in when he saw things were bad living with my mom. But, of course, too often the help I need is dressing/bathing/etc and not things Dad or I would be comfortable with him doing for me. So he is always sure to tell my sister how grateful he is that she took me in and helps me everyday. I think that made him see, like knowing he couldn't help me, so in turn, he paid it forward in a way, by taking in Lucky, by helping Lucky when his family was unable to. Does that make sense? Like somewhere between how my dad was when I was a kid vs the day he called Lucky at the hospital and said, "Get your shit together, you're moving in here," I think my dad came to see the idea of 'it takes a village' as a valid way society should behave and decided to use his own privilege to help someone. Someone he grew to love. Someone who became his family.

We all miss Lucky & are so grateful he became a part of our lives.
lindahoylandlindahoyland on May 12th, 2017 06:09 am (UTC)
Hugs.
dodger_sister: comfortdodger_sister on January 17th, 2018 10:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Lucky's things have finally been removed from the room at the end of Dad's hall, but it will still be "Lucky's room" for the rest of our lives.
(no subject) - ruslan2897 on May 12th, 2017 07:48 am (UTC) (Expand)