My oldest brother, Robby, was born in July of 1956. He was a rare person. He was more gifted in certain ways than any of the rest of us. He certainly had more potential than any of us as far as making a success of himself and getting out of childhood and into adulthood in good shape. I do not know what went wrong with him. But it did go wrong in the worst kind of way. In June of 1987 I received the phone call that nobody wants to receive. It was from my mother. It seemed it was early in the morning, but I cannot remember now. It was 7 years before I took up the pen and began to journal.

Nevertheless, she told me that Robby had broken into a mobile home and there was a man sitting across the way with a double-barrel shotgun in his hand. He shot both barrels at Robby’s head. Robby put his hands in front of his face apparently in an attempt to protect himself. It shredded parts of his hands. Robby fell face down on the floor and the man took the shotgun, turned the gun around to where he was holding the barrels and used it as a sledgehammer on the back of Robby’s head. He broke the stock of the gun on the back of his head. This is what ultimately killed him though he could have died from the gunshot wounds if the guy had not bludgeoned him to death. That was it. His life was over. He was obliterated.

The killer was not prosecuted if I understand the story correctly. It is my understanding that the police felt like it was one less criminal off the streets and he was probably acting in self-defense. Robby had just gotten out of prison in January or February of 1987. He had been in prison most of his adult life. He would be what they call an institutionalized person. He was so acclimated to the inside that he could not live on the outside. The rehabilitation program didn’t work for him. Prison was his niche. It is what he did, what he was, a place where he was king of his domain. Whenever he got out, which was three times I think, he found himself back in all but the last time. That last time he was murdered.

Apparently, as the story goes Robby had a girlfriend on the outside. He was writing letters to her. She kept the letters. She also had a husband or significant other. Robby decided he wanted the letters and went to get them. This is why he broke into the trailer as I understand it. The one brother who had the most potential was the first one to die. The one who never missed a day of school until his 10th grade year died 31 days before his 32 birthday. The person who was always the youngest in whatever sport’s league he was in and broke all the records had a record, a prison record, and it was a good thing in some people’s mind that he no longer lived. It was the beginning of a new set of disappointments for me like no other time in my life.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He also received certification from the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC). His organization is a training center for IABC.

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