I am writing today for my niece Taylor Cool and my brother Todd Cool because our family can not remember one without also remembering the other.
April 2016 was a rough year for my family. If you know my family you will see I used the day my brother died to mark their deaths because to me that was the day we lost both of them. Todd and Taylor had a very close bond, that daddy daughter connection could have been defined by watching them. My brother Todd passed away at the age of 41. At the time of his death his daughter Taylor was in a rehab for heroin. Some of my last words to my niece were “Taylor, I need you to finish this rehab, you have to fight this thing baby girl, I can not bury you like we are your father today.” I will never forget her looking up at me with tears streaming down her face saying, “don’t worry aunt Kimmy if you can beat alcohol I can beat this”. Two weeks later we buried her with her dad. Both of my brothers, my sister, and myself all suffer or suffered from some form of addiction (drugs and/or alcohol) and while some of us our still here fighting the fight my beautiful niece will forever remain 19. She left behind a 3 yr old son, Ryder, who will only ever know how much his mommy loved him and what a great young lady she truly was through all of us. She DID NOT want to die from this disease but once it got its fangs into her it was too strong a hold to break. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish that I could have been a better example, that I do not wish I could hear “wanna take a selfie Aunt Kimmy. Come on let’s take a selfie.” (I hate pictures and she knew that). There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish I could have saved her.