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For my big Brother

Growing up, I used to get told that I physically resembled you, a boy. Hmm.. But, I told my friends, at 6 years old, that you were my twin, you were just born 3 years before I was.

As a baby, you never left my side. Literally. In every photo that exists of me, as a baby, your head is in every frame. My protector.

As a young human being, you were my very first best friend. Every Saturday morning, you'd wake me up to play Nintendo 64 or to watch cartoons. Ninja Turtles was our show. You'd walk me, every morning to school and would tell me stories and jokes. And whenever I got into trouble, you took the blame. Even that time I fell face first into the side walk, after using your skateboard; ripping my chin open and biting my tongue, I still remember your exact words "Michelle, don't cry. Please. Just stay here, I'll get mom", all while you were crying and panicking.

As drama unfolded, immensely in our young lives. Our bond was pushed apart. But, you always managed to remind me and the world, that I am your little sister. 

Fast forward to today, I have 3 beautiful nieces. The youngest, soon to be 11 years old, and through her I can see you. You always had a curiosity for the random, and a thirst for adventure. Your openness, positivity and humor, makes you an instant best friend to everyone that you meet. You have an eye for detail, and your devotion for your family and friends is inspiring. Given our circumstances within our home, you've become the father we did not have, and needed growing up. You were 12 when our parents separated and our dad left, and at 12 I can see and understand how difficult that was. Through mom, and her efforts at raising you (at the time, a young teenaged boy), you learned how to be a man. How to be kind, self-less and most importantly, loving. You've become the epitome, of a great father. Your consistency, patience and understanding flows, whenever I am with my nieces. 

Christmas 2019, you gave me an unexpected gift. The perfect gift that sums up our relationship, our new found bond. A pair of 1995 Nike Air Max's, color way: white, gold, teal and blue. Sneaker heads. Something I got, from you. A hobby I learned from watching you, and your shoes. 

Having you for a brother, at times, was hard, but grateful. You were someone I looked up to, you are somebody I am proud of.

I wrote this piece for you, a written dedication, to a humble giant. 


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