Brother # 5 is celebrating his birthday and for me this always takes on a special meaning. Even though I love all of my brothers, this one here has over come some serious stuff. See,when this one here was in his teens, he was in the game…hard and heavy. I used to say that he had nine lives because, he was shot at on more than one occasion, one of those times New Orleans finest shot at him, and got him in the leg. He paid in debt to society(we all know what THAT means.) And at the ripe old age of…20(that’s old in gang-banging years) he had decided that, he didn’t want to go to jail anymore.
Now, anyone who knows anything about that sort of decision knows that…it’s easy to say, hard to do. When you are 20 and all of your friends are still doing the things that kept putting you behind bars, when it’s hard to get a job because you have a record…it’s just not that easy.
But, he did it.
I know it must have been hard as hell, not hanging with his friends anymore. A few of them of course, tried him and when they found out that, he wasn’t living that life anymore…they moved on.
But, he made new friends.
Friends who were not into the street life.
He had a family who loved him and never gave up on him…I’m sure that helped.
He knew he was never alone because, they would visit him in jail and even bring his son to see him.
My parents never condoned what he did but, they weren’t about to give up on their child either.
He learned a few skills in jail and when he was released, someone eventually took a chance on him and gave him a job. He worked there(he was always talented with his hands) and never looked back.
He went to night school and got his GED.
He married and has a beautiful daughter that he dotes on, and a son that looks way too much like him..lol
He recently went to NURSING SCHOOL AND IS PREPARING TO TAKE HIS BOARDS! (sorry, I had to yell that out.)
It’s been 18 years and he has been a model citizen…I am glad that he was able to vote in the presidential election. When I called him and asked if he was able to vote he said, he was the first person at the poll. That’s my boy!
I am so proud of him that, I could never express just how much if I lived a thousand years.
See, I know all of my brothers extremely well. So well that, I had my own personal nicknames for them when we were all growing up.
This brother here was my “sweet brother.”
When I wanted something to eat like pancakes but, didn’t feel like fixing them…he would make them for me. He would do anything for me and you wouldn’t hear a fuss out of him.
And he’s 9 years younger than me.
He’s still sweet to this very day.
His journey is a testimony to so many young brothers who think they can’t get out of that life.
He’s able to reach his son, our nephews, and other young black men because…he’s walked the walk.
So, Happy Birthday Brother #5….I am so proud to call you my brother but, more than that…
I’m blessed to have you as my friend.