My mother told me that when I was young, I always wanted a brother. When I was 6 years old, I got that want. Throughout our childhood, we were in and out of foster homes, but we had a commitment to each other to always be as close as we can be. When we were out of foster homes, I tried to teach my brother everything I know. When I took the martial arts, I tried to teach him what I learned, but he didn’t have the patience for that. He enjoyed reading with one of his favorite authors being Stephen King. He also loved to draw to where I had no talent for.  He did have the patience for chess which in our younger days, we were both pretty good at it – sometimes taking a few hours to finish a game. We also both had an interest in tabletop RPGs which we played not only in our childhood, but throughout as adults. When he turned 16, the court gave me custody of him which I tried to teach him everything I could think of that he needed to know as an adult. Keep in mind, that at this time – I was only 22, so it was like the blind leading the blind. He didn’t take all of my advice, but he did do some of it. 

Now you would figure that a younger brother might envy what the older brother had. In our case, it would be the other way around. He found himself a caring and compassionate woman, and eventually had three wonderful children. He even became a grandfather as his oldest had a beautiful girl. These were all things I envied. He worked hard for his family. He worked in the food industry, in construction, and in cleaning. If you asked me, his passion lied in the food industry. He made excellent chili, but not often enough. He would many times work 16 hours a day, breaking his back to support his family. There were some times I felt his work would take the best of him. He would work hard even at the sacrifice of his own welfare. I asked him why he would break his back over a few of his employers that I felt didn’t give him the credit he was due. He basically told me – for his family. 

He told me that he could count the people he could rely on with one hand, and count the number of friends he had on two hands. When our maternal grandmother passed away in 2005, it hitted him hard. He was still there for those he cared about, but for those that knew him well knew that it hurt him a lot. When she passed, he lost one of those that he could rely on. 

I would go on, but writing this has been emotionally taxing. My brother, you are gone – but not forgotten. If you are reading this, say hello to grandmother, and I will do my best to look out for your family as I have looked out for you. While your departure is heartbreaking, I take solace in knowing you are no longer in pain and you are suffering no more. Until we see each other again – you will always be remembered.