57. My Little Brother

“Get your tux ready.” ~ my brother to me after he recently proposed to his now fiancée.

Dear Ryan:

I planned on writing this later in this project. But your recent engagement hastened the delivery.

What I’m about to say is something you clearly know through my life’s actions. But I need to say it anyway:

I love you like no other. You can look up the difference between agape and phileo loves, and break them down. But above all, I’d give of myself for you. Whether it’s my next to last dollar or a kidney, I’d do so with little hesitation.

My brother and I. His first facial hair came in two days after this picture. And no, I didn't have a Jheri curl. That's my hair. And yes, I got sick of people telling me "I had Indian in my family" by the time I was nine.

My brother and I. His first facial hair came in two days after this picture. And no, I didn't have a Jheri curl. That's my hair. And yes, I got sick of people telling me "I had Indian in my family" by the time I was nine.

I say that knowing you’d do the same for me. You’ve been there for me in my darkest moments and haven’t needed a why to understand that you needed to be there. You’ve stood there in my proudest moments, and smiled greatly like any sibling should. I’m grateful for these things, and I’m sure that if you look back you can see that I admire you in the same way. If you can’t see that clearly, know that I’m proud of you.

And it’s crazy, because we loathed each other for the first 17 years of your life. We fought so much over the television in the living room (when there were four working TVs in the house) that Mom actually assigned us days to control that tube. You admit that you’re the reason why I moved to Dad’s before I entered sixth grade, not Dad’s contrived notion of a boy needing a man to be a man (although it did sound good at the time).

Somehow, we’ve made it. We haven’t had a serious argument/fight since I came home from my first semester of college (We fought over a television … Don’t worry, I won’t call you out … lol). The only thing we quarrel about now is the Mizzou/Kansas football rivalry. For the most part, even that’s civil, save Thanksgiving dinners.

For this, I’m grateful. We’re the same person in so many ways. We’ve confused Mom and former girlfriends on the phone because we sound that much alike. But we’re vastly different. You live by the Dave Matthews Band (I’m listening now) whereas I have an entire Brian McKnight catalog.

Still, I’m glad that most things between us are just understood, and don’t necessarily need to be said. And most conversations can be sweet and simple. It makes our relationship that much easier.

But I feel I need to say the following, and I want you to study these words carefully for your own good. It’s my one pieces of advice to you as you traverse the rocky waters of heading a family:

Love your soon-to-be wife and child(ren) with an undoubted fervor and passion that is a radiant example for all. In other words, the way Jesus loved the church (Go read Ephesians, Chapter 5 … especially the 25th verse).

I can’t say it any better than that. I’ll stand behind you as your best man on the day you wed your bride. I’ll be full of joy because you’re going to give your son something we never had: an unbroken family.

Do your part to make it work. For you. For your bride. And for your son.

Love always,

Your Big Brother

P.S. I still find it absolutely hilarious that you look like you’re at least 37, and people think I’m 22. All that, and you’re still two years younger than I am. I know your bald head has something to do with it.
P.S.S. Brian McKnight’s CherishDave Matthews Band’s “Where Are You Going”

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18 responses to “57. My Little Brother

  1. AWWWW! That was so sweet.

  2. “And it’s crazy, because we loathed each other for the first 17 years of your life. We fought so much over the television in the living room (when there were four working TVs in the house) that Mom actually assigned us days to control that tube. ”

    This is soo familiar. Me and my lil brother are the same way.

    This letter was beautiful. 😉

    • @nicki: The only day we could agree on what to watch on the television was Thursday …. The Cosby Show and A Different World …

      Go figure … lol.

      • LOL.. I can’t remember what we agreed on.

        We fought over watching He Man (I eventually just sucked it up and started watching) and G.I Joe and Transformers.

        I wanted to watch the Bozo show.

        After school, we fought over the Power Rangers. lol

        • Please tell me that you at least go to watch She-Ra?

          Also, the Bozo Show was that ish … I lived for the Bucket Toss like I lived for Plinko on the Price Is Right.

          I don’t know how those kids had as bad an aim as they did. I would have made it to bucket 6. I promise. lol.

  3. This is so cute! That pic has me cracking up because you still look the same! LMAO! 🙂

    • What’s weird is that I do, but don’t. At that age, I looked exactly like my father. It would scare you, if you saw him and I together around that age.

      No one called me Damon, they all called me “Little Lee” after my father.

      Now though, I look more and more like my Mom, I have her head, nose and mouth …

  4. thecomebackgirl

    “P.S. I still find it absolutely hilarious that you look like you’re at least 37, and people think I’m 22. All that, and you’re still two years younger than I am. I know your bald head has something to do with it.”

    I AM DEAD TWICE

    ..too cute!!!

    • I’m serious, too. Every time we tell people that we’re brothers people assume he’s the older of us, and don’t want to believe that I’m the elder.

      It doesn’t bother me, because I look grown. But looking 22/23 is a compliment to me because I don’t want to look 40 at 28. lol.

      • I have the same thing with my younger cousin. He’s 25 and my 29th is in 18 days (in case you forgot after our conversation last night 🙂 ). But everyone thinks he’s older, mostly because he’s a smoker and I still look like a high schooler sometimes.

  5. this is very thoughtful of u D. ever since i relocated so far away from my home, i have also found a deeper love for my siblings. I’m the middle child (no syndrome, only sexiness) and find I’ve become the balance between for everyone else.
    Weirdest thing about mistaken identity was when my older bro & i took a pic together and my OWN FAMILY (specifically my god-mother) asked if I’m my brother’s new girlfriend?!?!?!

    • @NN: thanks. on mistaken identity, our Moms still can’t quite call for the right one.

      If she wants Ryan, she’ll say Damon and vice versa. Even if I’m the only one around. … I see it happen with other mothers all the time, too.

      I really don’t get it.

      Your mistaken idenity story is hilarious. But people who look alike do tend to make good couples (not family member, though). lol.

  6. This is soooooo sweet!! I feel the same way about my sister – there is NOTHING I wouldn’t do for her.

    Her bday is tomorrow, I think will write her a letter.

  7. Hi, interesting post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for writing. I will certainly be coming back to your blog.

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