January 16, 2011. This date will forever haunt me. This date changed a part of me forever.
Ever since I could remember you were my brother. Growing up I never knew otherwise and nothing that I grew to know could ever possibly change that. I now look back into old family photo albums and see all the pictures for “gotcha day”. I was so tiny then. We all looked so happy, all 8 of us. I still don’t know how mom pulled off raising 8+ kids, she’s truly a saint.
I was the baby of the family for a long time and as much as I hate to admit it, all seven of you spoiled me. But it was you who was wrapped around my finger the most. I remember all the piggyback rides that you gave me when I was sick and too tired to walk. How you would finish my dinner when you knew it was something that I absolutely hated. You all always took the blame for the spilled milk or the plate that wasn’t cleared at the table because you guys hated seeing me in trouble. You were the best big brother.
You taught me how to draw and honestly that was the best you’ve given me. No matter how much I made a mistake, or when I got frustrated you were always there to reassure me that I was doing good. But then again that’s what you did with everything that I did whether if it was sports, school or music.
I remember the exact moment when I found out that you weren’t my “real” brother. You were my cousin, along with your two brothers and your sister. I freaked out, I didn’t know how to really feel about what I just heard. I ran out of the room sobbing, it was because I felt like everyone kept this huge secret from me. I didn’t like being the only one who didn’t know. All of you sat me down without mom and told me that we were all still brother and sister no matter what. It was in that moment that I knew you guys were what made our family greater than it already was. We were all happy. We were growing up and become the best parts of ourselves. Then January 16 happened. This day changed our entire family forever.
The night before I was walking to the store, you jumped off the bus and waited for me to come out of the store. You told me to go home and that it was too dark for me to be outside. So I did just that but not before telling you to be safe yourself. It turned out that would be the last thing I would ever say to you. That morning I woke up to the news that you were gone. You were gone forever. That night someone was took your life because you didn’t have enough of anything when they decided to rob you and your friends. The began to shoot and you made sure everyone else was covered before you were. You jumped onto your friend and saved her life. But you saving and protecting her is what killed you.
At first I was furious with everything. But as time went it I was extremely proud of you. You and the rest of the boys were always taught to protect girls whenever harm presented itself. You made your death mean something. I love you now more than ever. On this day time moves a little slower but the amount of happiness I feel when thinking about you and the great memories are worth it.