On February 28th, 2011 I got the worst call of my life. It was 9:30 am.
I woke up to 63 missed calls…
The phone started to ring again. At first I thought I was in trouble for something, so I handed the phone to my girlfriend and told her to answer it. She did. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she must of heard something terrible and started to cry.
She slowly reached the phone towards me. I took it, never expecting what I was about to hear. It was my brother whimpering. He said, “Bro, Mom’s gone.”
It didn’t even make sense to me. I answered, trying to push down the anxiety, “What do you mean, she’s gone?” He continued to explain she had passed away. I hung up on him, got in my car and raced to the house. As I was pulling up, the coroner was just pulling out. I drove into the yard, slammed the car in park and ran inside. She was gone. I couldn’t even cry. I was in complete shock. I had just spent the whole day with her two days ago. This wasn’t possible; my mother leaving. The fact is my mother drank too much and didn’t wake up the next day.
It’s been five years now.
Today I’m finally able to talk about it. She was my best friend in life. She meant everything to me.
As tragic as this event was, my mom’s death actually pushed me into the position I’m most grateful for today, and that was complete desperation. There was nothing left.
Some people call it rock bottom. All I know is I was faced with a decision, to live or die. I can vividly remember being curled up in a ball on my kitchen floor crying out to God to please help me.
It is the most desperate place I’ve ever been.
Through the strength that was sewn by a seed planted by my mother, I was able to rise again. It has been a journey. I’ve been through five treatment centers. I’ve woke up in the hospital five different times from overdose. I threw away everything that ever meant anything to me…but in these places of brokenness and what seemed like failure, I’ve held onto the hope and potential of who I knew I was —who my mom knew I was —and that in itself has created a driving force that has become my passion. That passion is sharing what has worked for me and what has not worked for me with the hope that someone out there that was as far down and lost as I was might find hope and let it guide them to find their true value.
One thing my mother did for sure was plant a love of music deep within my soul. Music was always a part of my life. My mother was my biggest “fan” as some call it. She knew every word to every song I’d ever written. It’s never ever been about fame or fortune for me. The one thing I saw in my mother’s eyes when she shared and talked about my music was that she was so proud of me. And out of all the funk and trouble I put her through when the music started going places, she didn’t care. She was always so proud of me, and that feeling has been the foundation for my recovery and my music…honoring her and making her proud.
My mom never got to see me clean and sober. She never got to see me perform or speak at a recovery rally. She never got to see the Brandon I am today. I hold onto the things she taught me, mainly about God and heaven and unconditional love. So when it came time to write a song honoring her I chose to make a rendition of Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven. We used to sing it to each other. My mother and I had a deal. Sometimes when I’d call her, I’d be depressed, and she’d tell me, “Now you know if something ever happened to you it would kill me,” and I’d say, “Mom, if something ever happened to you it would kill me.” And we had this agreement, “I won’t leave you, and you don’t leave me…deal?…deal.”
I have to honestly say that I’ve changed that around. Today I choose to live to honor my mother. She never got the chance to go to treatment herself or carry the message to others, but what she did do was teach me about love, and that’s what I do. I carry her love today.
If you’re reading this and your mother is here, regardless of the situation…tell her you love her and thank her for giving you life. I got lucky , the last memory I have of her was us exchanging I love you’s and watching her wave goodbye as I pulled out of the driveway.
It took me a year to finish this song. I wrote it in dedication to her, and all the friends and loved ones I’ve lost to alcoholism/addiction. And to the families and loved ones may this bring you comfort…
Tears in HEAVEN by The Cincinnati KID
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Download it for FREE and please add the name of your loved one in the comments below. We stand together.
R.I.P Donna Castrucci (mom)
R.I.P Laura Mullen (girlfriend)
R.I.P Christine Hessel (cousin)
R.I.P Mark Mercurio (friend)
R.I.P Erik Justice (friend)
R.I.P Shane Cullen (friend)
R.I.P Lauren Fredrick (friend)
R.I.P Brian Lang (friend)
R.I.P Scott Woods (friend)
R.I.P Jason Thomas (friend)
R.I.P Amanda Maxwell (friend)
R.I.P Scott Little (friend)
R.I.P Kristen King (friend)
R.I.P Scot Philbert (friend)
R.I.P Justin Price (friend)
R.I.P Mark Marksberry (friend)
R.I.P Stephen Diehl (friend)
R.I.P Danny Caudill (friend)
R.I.P Brandon Alcorn (friend)
R.I.P Timmy Conners (friend)
R.I.P Rick Weaver (friend)
R.I.P Dustin Pittard (friend)
R.I.P Ericka Griffin (friend)
R.I.P Cyndie Mattingly (friend)
R.I.P Luther Combs (friend)
R.I.P Nychol Jefferies (friend)
R.I.P Clint Smith (friend)
R.I.P Lamonte Hubbard (friend)
R.I.P Lora Woodward (friend)
R.I.P Cory Boehm (friend)
R.I.P Nelson Gonzalez (friend)
R.I.P Erica Workman (friend)
R.I.P Tyler McCabe (friend)
R.I.P Carrie Schille (friend)
R.I.P Brandy Mae Lunsford (friend)
R.I.P Kaitlynn Marshall (friend)
About the Author:
Brandon Kutchera, also known as The Cincinnati KID, is the founder of New Age Recovery LLC. He is also a Hip Hop producer and artist with Square 1 Records and is actively bringing hope and encouragement to others through his music and testimony. I had the privilege of meeting him at a Silent No More rally in Michigan. He is definitely a hero in recovery.
Losing a parent to addiction is preventable. If you are concerned about a parent or loved one who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, please call us for help.