Other than God, no one knows the pain that wakes me up at night, yearning, missing, and thinking of my first baby. My baby bruddah.
The commotion starts, the kind reminiscent of a war cry. I see the tears streaming her face and I feel like a piece of garbage for not being able to help her. She doesn’t make eye contact with me, and immediately I know it’s because she can’t. Looking at me will just put a sting to her already stained eyes. Looking at me and bruddah hurts too much right now.
She is ashamed.
She is defeated.
I feel like garbage.
She cradles the phone. She’s looking at no where in particular, still holding onto the phone.
Eventually, she dials a number. She explains as best she can that she has been beat into oblivion; Again.
She can’t live like this anymore. She is scared to death. She is afraid she may die.
She succeeds in saying all this because for the moment, the monster is gone. Running for drugs, or even better laying up with one of his women. One thing for sure, he hurts her every chance he gets. He is indeed the enemy.
After that phone call, everything happened in fast forward. Packing clothes, U-haul truck, the grandparents, at long last showing up to save us. It all happened so fast.
I held my baby brother. His eyes looking to me for answers that I didn’t have. All I knew is, I couldn’t let him go. If I did, I would break apart. I might even die. For he was my everything. I loved him so. His smell, his eyes brown and bright, his smile, his curly hair, and his tiny fingers, he was mine. The cutest little boy in the world. And he was so easy to love. I protected him from the night terrors, the boogie man, and from that viciously swinging belt. It was my job, he was mIne. He looked up to me, but yet, I wanted to do everything he did. He sucked his thumb at night, I sucked mine’s too. He carried a special blanket around, and I wanted one too. He was remarkable. He could light the sky with that smile of his, and he always had the power to make her feel better after one of many attacks from the monster. Baby bruddah was our world.
Finally, our help came and we were free from the monster. Except, he took hold of the one thing in life that meant anything to me.
I felt my heart beating faster.
Maybe I’m hyperventilating.
Maybe I’m dying.
He is the air I breathe. I’m fainting. I’m seven years old, and I’ve passed out from confusion. When I woke up, baby bruddah was gone.
Just like that.
It was decided, “you can go, take your daughter, but you can’t have my son.”
I can’t explain how I felt. How I still feel. The pain that grips me. Sometimes daily. One person loved me alot. One person held my hand at night. One person depended on me. It was him. Baby bruddah. He took him away from me.
Was I ever considered? Did anyone for a second think about what this would do to me, or him. I became angry. I lashed out at her, as if she had the strength or power to take on an entire monster. She wasn’t built for it. Her love was deep. Her heart was broken, but fight, she could not. This changed us all. In a nutshell, it has shaped our lives.
Now as adults, we struggle to put back together what was so selfishly ripped from us. I feel cheated. My brother feels cheated. And, after all these years, I still harbor a tremendous amount of guilt mostly caused by a death that cut off any chance of reconnection between a mother and her baby son. It rattles my mind, and my heart, and I ache for what could have been.
I live. I love. I’m happy. I’m conscious of my feelings. I know, I know, I cannot live in the past.
But guess what.
I still ache.
I still get angry about it.
This is extremely difficult for me to write. Not so much that I’m afraid of the feelings, but it still shocks me that my heart breaks like this. It’s difficult watching my tears soak the pages of my notebook. It doesn’t matter how soaked the pages get, the feelings don’t wash away.
These tears signify liquid prayers.
A river of liquid prayers.
We’ve gotten better. We know that what happened wasn’t our fault. We know it, but we still struggle.
I thought about asking my brother if he’d be okay with me writing this. It was a hard decision. We are both extremely private. I wrote it a long time ago and never really had the courage to post it. Then I read a fellow bloggers story of her life without her brothers and it seemed so interconnected with my own thoughts and feelings. I cried the whole time reading it, and I felt relieved that someone else felt like me. That was when I knew, this post wasn’t going to just be for me. It’s someone else that may need to hear a story like this.
I’ve written it to the best of my ability. It’s the way the spirit lead me to do it. I’ve gone as deep as I’m willing to.
To my bruddah. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again, we loved you back then. I love you still. The closest and only thing other than my kids that connects me to our mother. It’s you. The eyes. The spirit. I see her in you. I am proud of you and the man you’ve become. The father you’ve become, truly phenomenal. We promised each other. We made a vow. We must never forget, or loose ourselves again. I pray you understand my heart and my words. The ultimate goal in this would be for you to know, more than anything, I was affected. And you are loved.
A true life short by Dee