To my brother,
I know this may seem like a random thing. You definitely weren’t expecting this to come from me, especially right now. But, I’m afraid, I can no longer keep this from the world. What I mean by that is, I planned on telling you this in private. However, everyone needs to know who you are to me.
Let me start from the beginning…
We never ever got along. Like, you and I would get into full-blown WWE wrestling matches. We annoyed the absolute crap out of each other – to a point where people couldn’t stand being in the same room as us. You knew how to push my buttons, and I let you get away with it.
I don’t know for sure, but I think you secretly enjoyed having me around all the time; playing basketball with the guys at lunch, playing stupid games with the guy cousins at family events, playing paintball, or even shooting each other with pellet guns to see who could stand the most pain.
Despite each of us acting like it was the worst thing ever, we both learned so much. I knew that no matter how badly we fought if some stupid guy tried to mess with me, you were there to put him in his place. And if you ever had a question, I was always there to give you an answer (I was also there to set stupid guys in their place). We were always just there for each other.
I remember chasing you with drumsticks after you pushed me off the top bunk onto my drum set — you ran outside, yelling for dad, in your underwear. I guess we liked arguing. And, I used to swear I would never like you. That you would always be on my bad side. You would always tell me you loved me, try to open doors for me, etc. I never let you think you meant anything to me. I was hard on you.
Specifically, I want to talk about November 18, 2012. That was the day a long streak of injuries officially started. You remember what happened. It was the usual, fighting and wrestling because we disagreed about dodgeball. I got up to walk away from the fight, and you came up behind me and got one last push in. My arm snapped. Because of the broken arm, I didn’t get to play in my 8th-grade year of basketball. My freshman year was hard to push through with my arm still being in pain. From that November day on, my arm was never really the same, and my basketball career was pretty much over because of the other injuries I suffered.
I’m bringing this up because I want to tell you something I never really told you. None of that was your fault. Let it go, brother. You didn’t ruin my basketball career; you didn’t take away all my happiness, and you really didn’t even break my arm. When you have incredibly weak bones, a break is bound to happen. It was just bad luck that it happened at that specific moment. I know how much it hurts you when you think you’re the reason I didn’t get a fair chance in basketball. Please, understand that you didn’t do that. I want, more than anything, for you to let go of that pain and the idea that you hurt me. You didn’t.
Okay, now let’s get into now. I can’t remember when it changed…when I decided to let you in. You just stopped being annoying one day. I stopped seeing everything you did as a problem and started looking at you for who you truly are — my best friend and my rock (lol I started to tear up writing that). The first time you ever saw me have an anxiety attack was only a few months ago. I did my absolute best to keep you away from that part of me, I didn’t want you to worry. So, when I did finally let you see, it was because I knew how stupid it was for me to hide it and I should have known you could handle it.
I could go on forever, but I won’t. I just want you to know how incredibly good you are. You’ve got the best heart, and you show me the most understanding and love out of everyone I know. I’ve never opened up to anyone the way I can with you. I trust you with my life, and I know you’ll always be there if I need you-you always have. Growing up, I never expected my annoying little brother to become my hero. Life has a way of surprising us.
Before I end this, I want to tell you a few things I know about you:
I know you’ll never lose your spark, your kindness, or your heart.
I know you’ll always be my #1.
Life is hard. But, I know you will stumble upon your path soon.
I know you’ll fall in love, and fall out of love.
I know you’ll feel like your on top of the world, and wonder why you were put here in the first place.
I know you’ll have days where everything just seems to be going right, and have more days where it’s a struggle to smile.
I know you’ll soon have the ability to express your dreams, and always wonder if those dreams are worth it (they are, they are each and every time).
I know you’re going to change peoples lives for the better.
I know you will never run out of people who look up to you.
I know you will always be a good example for others.
I know you always have, and always will protect the ones you love with your life.
Most of all, I know you’re strong enough to do anything and everything you want to do. Nothing you will ever want is going to be out of reach. Nothing.
Lastly, I hope I can be all the same things for you. I know you don’t like to read, but I’d like to think this was worth it. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my brother. I really do love you, and I’m not entirely sure I’d know what to do without you.