“And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.”
~ Ellen Brenneman
My little brother was born a
month before my 9th birthday; and since his arrival robbed me of all my “baby” privileges—the
ripest mango, the first piece of coconut
my grandmamá’s lap—I was not the most gracious of big sisters. In fact, I was
determined to make the little beast know who was boss. The second my mother got
home from the hospital, everyone ran up to her to fuss over the usurper. There
was a storm of “He’s so cute” and “Can I hold him?” and “You
must be so proud”.
I just stood in a corner, in
silence, glaring at the whole world.
After the room quieted some, my grandmamá
said, “Come meet to your little brother.”
“No,” I told her, my glare growing
She ignored my hostility, picked
him up out of my mother’s arms, and walked towards me. “Look,” she said, holding
his face very close to my face, “he is smiling at you.”
I had closed my eyes, refusing
to look at him. Besides, newborns did
smile. And if they did, it was only gas—my mother always said that. My grandmamá didn’t move, so I shut my eyes tighter. Then I felt little
fingers touch my chin. I opened my eyes, ready to tell the little monster to
stop it, ready to shout that there was no space for him, ready to bare my teeth...
found my little brother’s face, just inches from mine, the cutest
of toothless grins aimed right at me. And without wanting it, I was grinning
That was the first time my
little brother smiled me into loving him. He
way about him, that brother of mine…
a way to show his whole heart in a smile
that made anyone seeing it want to join in the fun.
He was more
of a scoundrel. He loved (a
lot) and smiled easily. And I thank the universe every day for that
(Mar 10, 1986 – Feb 28, 2013)
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” ~ Terry Pratchett
- linked to Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #16: An Exploration of Peace.