I wear these pink slippers in remembrance of you and what you always told me was your favorite story of ours.
You were about 10, and the neighbor kid was bullying you, and all you can remember was me flying out the back door of our house with my big pink slippers on, chasing the kid away, yelling at him as I ran down the street, while you watched those pink slippers flopping away.
We always had a great laugh remembering that brother/sister moment.
I was five years older and always considered myself the “protector” of you, my only sibling.
But I could not protect you from your addiction and depression. I knew your struggles and their dangers. I told counselors, police, etc. that you had inherited guns that I knew you were at risk of using on yourself. Your state didn’t have Red Flag laws, so I couldn’t keep you (and potentially others) safe. I lost you to firearm suicide in 2017.
No family member should have to navigate this preventable journey of grief. My advocacy for gun sense legislation, for families to protect the ones they love from endangering themselves or others, will always be carried out in your honor.