The time has come quicker than I thought, and in a few days, you will be shipping out to basic training. Your life is about to begin, and as much as I hate this part, it will begin away from me. Everything from here on out will be different. As much as I hate change, and as much as I hate knowing how – after 20 so years of being the controlling big sis – I will no longer be near you, I am so very happy and proud for you that you are following your dreams. That is all I have ever wanted for you.
When mom announced her & my new step dad’s pregnancy, I was scared. I feared that another sibling meant more heartache, as the only experience with one I had was with the older sister I barely got to see.
But then you were born, and you changed everything. I watched you attentively, everything you did and tried to say, I was – from that moment – your biggest fan. Not an hour went by that I didn’t believe I was your caregiver. I remember taking you out of the crib in the morning, changing your diaper and begging mom to let me feed you. That hole in me that had been wishing on stars for someone to bond with? You filled it completely. I had my very own little brother; one that I didn’t need to worry about losing or being separated from. You mesmerized me and filled my little heart with so much love.
As time went on, I became more and more amazed by you. Here was this little boy that not only I loved – but that loved me back completely. I had long conversations with you about who we might become in the future, though you were too little to understand, and I would confide in you my deepest dreams and desires; your little eyes following me around as if you really did take in everything I said.
When M (our little sister) was born, we became a trio. I would boss you two around like it was my full time job, and you both would follow every instruction. I would write plays for you to audition for; we would play club or school, in which I was always the leader; I would spend hours turning my room into a scary house, and then lead you two through it with the lights off. I promised you ‘points’ and candy bars; I made you dress like a girl; and I looked out for you. Those years, those precious childhood years where all we had to worry about was what imaginative game to play next, were the best of my life. And as long as I live, I will treasure them completely.
Time has moved us away from those breezy summer days, and somehow, we have grown up. I look at you now, as a real live man (stop sneering, I know I am corny, but would expect anything less from me?), and I cannot believe that those years are behind us. We fight, we disagree, our stubborn asses butt heads, and one could sometimes think that perhaps we had lost what we once had.
They would be so, so wrong. We fight and disagree and butt heads because we are so alike. You have grown into the person I tried so hard to raise you as (sorry mom, we all know I had a habit of thinking I was “raising” the kids). You are open-minded, open-hearted, caring, and passionate. What you believe in, you believe in with all of your heart and soul – there is no half-way for you – and that is such a beautiful thing … even when it’s ugly. You and I are and will always be connected in such a unique way. The relationship we once had has always been there and always will be. You are my little brother; the one that changed everything for me. Nothing will ever be able to break that. We allow each other to see the ugly in us; we allow it because we know that we will never walk away from each other.
So now the time has come where I have to acknowledge what I have been hiding away for quite a while now: My little brother, that baby boy that used to follow me around in his diaper, is leaving. He is entering the Army to live out his dream; to most likely be deployed overseas; to change even more into the man he will ultimately become. And I have to let him go. My beautiful little brother, I have to let you go. I have to watch you walk away without me, the big sister always trying to lead the way, and not lasso you back into the car.
I won’t lie and say that my heart will not break, that I will not cry (as I am now, holy crap, keyboard is getting flooded), that I will not miss you every second of every day and worry about you until my stomach hurts. I won’t lie and say that I won’t die a little when you no longer walk through our parent’s door. But Brother, you have my entire support behind you. Since childhood, you’ve talked about joining the military, and here you are, doing it. Not letting anyone elses opinion veer you from this path, you are doing it.
You have always been my hero, since that day in 1992, and this just yet another thing that you are doing that proves the world what I already knew. You, my brother, are why this world is & forever will be a brighter place. Go live your dreams, fight through anything that comes your way, and know that I’ll always be here.
I love you.