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My brother and I became close in the last years of his life. He became a humbled man, in those last years.
My brother was a successful businessman. He owned a tour bus company in Newark, N.J. After 9/11 the business plummeted and the tour industry was very slow. When he was doing well he owned, what seemed like, great wealth. He owned a Corvette, Cadillacs and a Cartier watch. He ate out a great deal and always paid for others' meals and threw great parties for many people. He was an entertainer of sorts. He sang beautifully, many times in weddings, church and school musicals. He later won a talent competition on a cruise he had taken with his mom, Helen. He sang "I Did it My Way" by Frank Sinatra. My brother was a very giving man, he gave to many, but received little in return.
On the surface he looked as though he was doing really well, but boiling beneath the surface, he was unhappy with his appearance. He later got gastric bypass, around the same time his business started to fail. Yes, he was regaining his appearance, but he was becoming depressed also. He started to drink more than he should have. He dabbled with substances also. We had the paramedics to his home many times. He had lost his way eventually. 2010 was a horrible year.
I have many good memories of my brother, even to this end, but it's always coupled with the fact that he was always drinking and not doing well at all. The danger for a person with gastric bypass is so great -- I found this out one day when Googling gastric bypass and alcoholism. I was shocked at what I read. My brother's alcoholism overtook his life with the help of that gastric bypass -- which was supposed to be the cure to all his health issues and appearance. You are not supposed to drink with a gastric bypass at all.
My brother died on January the 6th, 2011. It was a very sad time for our family; we lost our 6 foot 1 inch "Gentle Giant." The smile on his face was taken from us, the heart of gold, taken from us, the beautiful blue eyes, taken from us. My brother was only 43 years old when he died. Gone too soon. Going Home. It is all well now; he is with his Savior up in Heaven.
I love you Artie, always and forever, until we meet again at heaven's gates!
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