I grew up in Portland, Oregon the youngest of four kids. My second oldest brother was always a bit different from other kids. He had an amazing imagination, was a gifted writer of poetry and artist. He also told wonderful made up stories. I used to love to sneak out of the house to go on his paper route with him in the pre-dawn hours. He held me spellbound with tales of the people who lived in the houses we passed. Even with all these qualities he had few if any friends and the kids made fun of him for his size and thick glasses. At age twelve I went to our basement and found all of my brothers fish dead laying in rows on top of the tank. That was the beginning, his behavior spiraled from there. Eventually we went to a group family therapy session which resulted in seeing my dad cry and hearing for the first I time the term “scapegoat.” By then Scott couldn’t live with us anymore. He went first to a group home then to a mental hospital where his condition was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. My broth Scott was 18. I was 13. The neighbor kids when I passed their house would say “there goes one of the crazy Edmonds!” This was the 80’s and nobody knew much about what it was. I sure didn’t. I learned to keep my head down. My brother would look for me at my high school when the mental hospital couldn’t keep him any longer. He didn’t bathe, change his clothes. The kids would say “there’s some guy here tripping on acid!” I found it was amazing how small I could myself pressed inside my locker. The guilt though of hiding from my beloved brother never left me. The look of pity on the school secretary’s face when she would call me to the office to tell me ” your brother was here looking for me” burned into my memory. The system failed my brother and when I was 15 and Scott just 21 he jumped off the Fremont bridge ending his life. He never got the chance to live to be understood. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss him.