I’ve been wanting to postpone this post for quite some time because I wanted to build up to it, but I realized that the genuine self that I am now didn’t come to life until this situation occurred in my life. It was a blessing and a curse all at the same time. So here goes! =)
Do you have someone in your life whom you bond with like no other person in the world? This person could be your sibling, parent, friend, colleague, anyone really! But this person brings out the best in you. They nourish your growth and are the most supporting person in your life. There is no jealousy, bad intentions, trust issues, or back stabbing. The relationship is made up of genuine pure love. This person is the one you call when you’re sad, mad, happy, proud, excited, scared, lost, alone, or bored. This person for me, is my brother, Jeffrey.
Not many can say the bond between their siblings are this strong. I hear some say, “blood isn’t always thicker than water,” “friends are family that you choose,” “blood is thicker than water,” the list goes on. But from day one, my brother has been there for me through the good and the bad. When I got an award at school or a promotion at work, he was the first one I’d call and we would celebrate my successes together. When I got in to a car accident and my niceness took over my logic, I’d call my brother to come check that asshole who wouldn’t let me go even though they were at fault. When I was asked out on my first date, I’d call my brother to cover me so I can go. When I got my heart broken, he was there to console me and make me feel like superwoman. When I got bad grades, he was the one who checked me and put me in my place. When I threw attitude at my parents, he was the one who yelled at me and made me realize how unacceptable it was. When he came home drunk and wanted to get his drunchies on, I was the one he’d call to get fat with. When he was bored and wanted some entertainment, I was the one he’d call. When he wanted to punk someone for the fun of it, I was the one he’d call. When he felt like playing Socrates and talk about life, I was the one he’d call. When he wanted to grab lunch, I was the one he’d call. When I forgot to bring something to school or work, I’d call my brother to come drop it off for me. When he needed a costume for Halloween but wanted to be cheap, I was the one he’d call. When he needed someone to help him with his first Humira shot, I was the one he’d call. When my parents got in a fight when I was younger and I was scared, he took me out of the house so we can get away from it together. You get the point.
My brother was my everything. My number one cheer leader. My number one man. My inspiration. My foundation. I felt like he was my twin. We just got each other. Till this day, I still hear people say how similar I am to him. It’s almost unbelievable that we were 9 years apart.
My brother taught me a lot. He taught me how to be human, how to love, how to be kind, how to be genuine, and how to let go. He taught me how to look past people’s faults and to understand the way they were was a result of how they were raised. He taught me how to give second chances because he always said, “people change.” He taught me how to think critically, how to think philosophically, and how to love genuinely and logically. He taught me what selflessness meant. He taught me how to give. He taught me to be grateful. He taught me what’s right from wrong. He taught me how to appreciate and strive. He taught me how to stay loyal. He taught me what being a true friend really means. He taught me how to be weary but still give chances. He taught me how to live. He taught me not to half-ass things. He showed me that hard work pays off. He taught me how to laugh. He taught me how to be. He taught me how to be who I am today.
My brother left my life on September 18th, 2010. It was the most traumatic, tragic, and saddest day of my life.
At the time, I was working 3 jobs, going to school full-time, and trying to manage life all at the same time. That particular Saturday, I worked at the bank from 7am-2:30pm. Right after, I had to private tutor till 4:30. I came home, saw his car, but noticed he had gone out riding on his motorcycle. As like any “normal” Saturday, I went out with the boyfriend. We were getting ready to go to D&B. At 7:00pm, my Dad calls me and says, “Helen, you need to come home, it’s an emergency.” Something was not right… I thought. My dad never calls me when I’m out… When I got home, I saw my brother’s girlfriend standing at the door, staring at me cold……… She didn’t even have to say a word. I knew. She said, “Helen, your brother is dead.” I still remember the feeling I felt. You ever watch those movies where the person hears bad news, drops to the floor, and starts wailing/yelling/screaming? That was me that night. I dropped to the floor in tears. I was in total shock, my knees were weak, and I could barely speak. Did I really just lose the most important person in my life? Did I really just hear those words? How could this be? He was only 30 and had a whole life ahead of him. I couldn’t and didn’t want to believe it. I needed to see proof. Where was he? How did it happen? My brother’s girlfriend informed me he had gotten in a motorcycle accident and was pronounced dead on the scene at 4:36pm. 6 minutes after I had ended my tutor session. 20 minutes before I got home from tutoring. We went to the scene to light candles, bring flowers, and mourn. When I got there, there was still a puddle of blood by the sewer. This was the closest I could get to him at that point. He was immediately taken to the coroners. I couldn’t even see him one last time. I couldn’t go and visit him in the hospital and say goodbye. I had to wait till the day of the funeral to see him again, which was the last time me and my whole family would physically be together.
That night he passed, I remember his closest friends came over, my closest friends came over, and we sat there in silence for hours. I didn’t sleep that night. I’d call his phone hoping that he’d answer. I’d text him, waiting on a response. I cried so many tears I never even knew existed. I really did just lose my MVP.
After a couple weeks, I needed to get my life back. I had stopped eating for a couple weeks and dropped about 15 lbs. I had to get a leave of absence from work.I had never failed a class before, I failed two after that, and I was only 1 semester away from graduating with a Bachelor’s. I hit rock bottom. I had to force myself to get moving. Not only did I lose my brother, I lost myself. It took me quite some time. But because my brother taught me how to be, I regained consciousness. I started thinking about how much more painful it was for my parents, and I started to live again. You see, when someone you love dies physically, it should give you a reason to live spiritually because they live through you. All that they’ve taught you can be radiated by you. He taught me how to appreciate my parents and to live for them because they came to America to live for us. This appreciation he taught me helped me grow even stronger than I was. I gained strength to overcome my battle because we had such quality time together. It’s not about the amount of years they’re here. It’s about the quality time spent when they are physically here.
I failed to mention, not only was he a good brother to me, he was a good brother to everyone he met. At his funeral, there were over 200 attendees. Some people I’ve never met or seen before. The chapel was filled all the way out to the street. Flowers were presented from the front of the chapel and wrapped around to the other front side of the chapel. There were so many flowers it couldn’t fit in the chapel, and some where placed in the back. This showed me how great he was. This taught me how to love and how to be a genuine good person. This taught me that it’s not about how many breaths you take, but how many breaths you take away. Words couldn’t express how awesome my brother was.
I feel that it is my responsibility to share some of that love with all of you. Because, he taught me better than to keep shit inside and let it be a burden. I want to share my experience so that you can gain from it. Don’t wait till tomorrow to call that someone. Don’t wait till tomorrow to eat lunch with that someone. Don’t wait till you feel better to start being nice. Don’t wait till next year to plan that vacation. Don’t let stubbornness get in the way of any relationship. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t think you have forever. Simply don’t wait. Tomorrow is never promised. As cheesy as that sounds, it is true. Laugh as much as you can. Love as much as you can. and always always be grateful.
You see, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing of. Treat others with respect. Give them a chance. For those of you who have lost someone you truly love, please know you’re not alone and there is a way out of your depression. There is always a way out if you allow it.
PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES. While you’re in a rush to get home, it might cause someone to never come home.
I love and miss you so much, Jeff. May you forever Rest In Peace. See you and Princess when it’s my time! 01/28/80-09/18/10~