My father died, when I was five. It was hard on us all. With time
the wounds healed. My brother, who is eight years older than me, began to
watch over my mother and me.
Taking on many more responsibilities than was expected of him, I
remember he made sure the trash was taken out, and the yard mowed. He did
on his own, without being told to do so.
Because of my father's death, my mother was forced to get a full time
job. My brother took it upon himself, to get up early every morning. He
would get me up for school, and make me breakfast. While I was eating he
would lay out my clothes, make my bed, and gather my school books up.
Hand in hand we would walk to the bus stop. As we waited, he would
play games my father used to play with me. He did his best to make me
happy, and he succeeded every time.
When we arrived home from school, we were alone for about a half hour,
until mom was home from work. He would sit me down with three cookies and
a glass of milk. If I had home work then this was the time I would do it.
My brother would start laundry, and do dishes if there was any. He would
find something for supper, and have everything ready for mom, so she could
Mom would greet us with a hug and kiss. This was our queue to go
outside and have some fun. This was my brother's time to be a kid.
It was a Saturday in June a couple years later. My mother and I were
at the store. They had the Father's day cards out. I stared at the rack
of cards. My mom said "Honey, I know this is a hard time for you." I said
"No, mom that's not it. Why don't they have Brother's day cards?"
She smiled and said, "You're right, your brother has definitely been a
father to you. Go ahead pick out a card."
So I did, and on Father's Day, my mother and I sat my brother down and
gave him the card.
As he read it, I saw the tears forming in his eye's. I felt a lump in
my throat, as he threw his arms around me and my mother. I heard the
crackling in mom's voice as she said, "Son, your father is proud of you,
seeing that he raised a good man, and that you do your best to fill his
shoes. We love you, and thank you."