23 years ago today, a little boy was born. He was born my cousin but after being placed in foster care together when he was just a newborn,he was my brother. We did everything together and we suffered the death of the only mother we ever knew together.
He was so different after that. He was fragile,quiet,and kept to himself. I didn’t know if he’d ever go back to being the energetic fun loving little boy I loved so much. In my mind, it was us against the world.
But then, my aunt took us in. At first, he was guarded but once she showed him that all she wanted was for him to be okay he was her little boy,her son.He came out of his shell. He ran back and forth through our long apartment hallway and let his imagination take him wherever he let it. When my mom took us out anywhere,he’d grab tight to her hand and never let it go. He felt safe with her.
When we were in junior high school, I sometimes dismissed him in front of my friends because he was”my annoying little brother”. But he still hung around me and I guess he thought I was cool. We shared bunk beds and at night we would talk about random things until we fell asleep. I miss those times.
After I had Amani, he left for the army and I was proud of him but it was hard not having my sidekick around. He called as much as he could but it wasn’t the same. He came home from basic training a few days before Amani’s first birthday and he got her to walk on her own. He was a different man, one that I was proud to call MY brother.
When he left the army,he settled down and started a family. He holds down two jobs,college,and three children. I know it’s hard sometimes but he handles fatherhood and manhood with a grace that I thought you only get when your like fifty something. My brother didn’t have a father but our mother raised him to be strong.
I have four other brothers but the bond between he and I is special. We are two halves that when put together,complete each other. I could never imagine a life without him and I thank God everyday for my brother who is my best friend even when he annoys me or does something done. No other siblings in the world have a relationship like ours. Happy Birthday, L!!!