Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things I Love About My Younger Brother

I had a pretty mellow day and in reflection I came up with all of these things I love about my little brother. My heart was so full with them, I had to write them all down. Here is my best shot.

Dear Hermanito,

This is a snapshot of my love for you, I could never fully capture it in words, but I hope that it gives you an idea about how much love and admiration there is.

I love that you are a hard worker. Every time we talk on the phone you are heading into work or coming out of it. You fight as hard for your future as any person I know. You do it quietly, you don't make a big show of it, but your determination to be the caretaker of your future family floors me.

I love that you have never uttered the words "I'm a grown ass man." to me. I'll call you little brother or baby brother or boo boo, and you don't even wince. You recognize that my affection for you, isn't even close to an indicator of how grown you are. And that makes you the most grown ass man I know.

I love that you give a damn about what other people think. Your first and foremost concern is always how you feel and how your family feels, not what anyone else would say. It gives you this independence that I love.

I love that you are a protector. In the toughest time period of my life, the one person I wanted around was you. I called you, and I sounded like an absolute mess, and as hard as it would have been, if I asked you to, I know you would have jumped in a car in that minute to travel 6 hours to give me a hug. And that, is a security, I carry with me at all times.

I love that not only have you loved one woman for the last seven years, but that you committed to her. You were gutsy enough to take this huge leap. You valued her and her contribution in your life enough to become a man. And come to think of it, you valued yourself enough to know that taking that step was actually valuing yourself a bunch too.

I love how chill you are. It drives me crazy a lot of the time, but baby brother, I can always count on you to tell me "Eh, its gonna be okay, its only --fill in the blank--."

I love how you forgive us. Whether its me or our dad, you forgive so beautifully. It's like nothing we could ever do, would ever take your love away. You show me what it means to be unconditional with love.

I love how you take care of our folks. I've been all crazy and gallivanting across the country trying to save the world. And you've stayed with them and loved them, and helped them. Its so awesome, and takes so much more strength than anyone could know.

I love that when we were kids, you would play with my dolls because I asked you to. And even though it was a GI Joe or something, I always made it Jem's boyfriend and you let me run the show. You were happy with just spending time together.

I love how much fun you get out of poking at people. You are at 24 (almost 25) still this little kid in a candy store. You probably would still sit in my room as I dragged you out by an ankle and laugh while I got furious just because you like seeing me mad. So I kinda get annoyed by that, but I love it too, no lie.

I love that you still have patience with me drunk dialing you like a 21 year old. You would never know I'm the older sibling, but thank you for laughing.

I love that no matter how long its been since I've called or returned a call you always pick up and say "Hey babe, how's it goin?" And hold no ill will over my spazzyness.

I love that you show love to my friends. You recognize in a way that our family always had a hard time with, how much they are family to me too. And you care about them and welcome them as a part of our lives.

So I'm going to stop being cheesy, because I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at this point. But I just needed to tell you a few of the things. Because you really are just such a special person. And I'm having time lately, to reflect on all of the blessings in my life, and you are one of them. You and your future wife are two of them. And I love you with all my heart and I just hope you know how much.

With all my heart,

Tu Hermana

Saturday, September 06, 2008

To all the boys I've loved before - Mayda Del Valle

I believe I've posted the link before, but this poem speaks to me...

to all the boys I’ve loved before

part 1:

we are not your mothers
and are not meant to be
it is not our responsibility to raise you into respectful beings
you have been weaned from the breast of a woman for years
yet you come to us
wounded and half filled with promises you can only keep half the time
trying to suckle our sense of self dry
we’ve become much to accustomed to sleepless nights and damp pillows
have become accustomed to waiting for our empty beds
to be weighed down with the bodies of men heavy with the scent
and the hands of other women
mornings with swollen puffy eyes are becoming routine
and we simply wanting to be loved
simply wanting to be able to love ourselves unconditionally
simply wanting to be held and feel safe
simply wanting the truth of whether you can really love us or not
play Hester Prynn
wear scarlet letters on our chests
become adulteresses
cheating ourselves out of what we truly deserve
willing to settle for less
willing to act like a little less than a goddesses
willing to sleep with the enemy
men too scared to stop acting like boys
thinking we can love away their scars
so we take the lashes of the insecurities they pour on us
and lick our wounds in quiet mourning for the little girls we lose by the minute
fast fading memories of playing hopscotch
and skippin’ rope
we now play freeze tag with each other’s hearts
play hide and seek with our love
if we just don’t breathe maybe we won’t get caught
up in the spider’s web we weave while waiting for what we give away to be returned

part 2:
you said you had a photographic memory
but apparently you forgot that honesty
begins by being real with yourself
and the ones you claim you love
should have never wasted my time
and just acted like the man you claimed and told the world you were
made a production of setting my folks at ease with tales of how you’d do all it ever took to never break my heart
I guess you thought you were talking to a roomful of the deaf and blind
figured they didn’t hear you
coz I never saw it coming
but the truth cannot be hidden
what’s clouded in darkness will always come to light my love
you shoulda known that
claiming you saw my light so clearly and brightly
so I left
chasing paper trails of promises you’d already set on fire
left with nothing but the ashes of who you’d written that you were
and singed fingers from trying to grasp the impossible

and the only thing I’ve really lost
are lukewarm kisses
that for too long I kept trying to tune the beat of my heart, a few lies, and stories
about honesty and truth

I guess shit happens
I just wish it wasn’t me

and I guess
it’s so much better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all
I know that’s some easy shit to say

but I’m still gonna try to live by it
I’m still gonna try to put my faith to rest in it

I will sleep on dry pillows now in a bed big enough to love myself in
I will awake these coming mornings with my eyes dry and shining
full of the knowledge I am priceless and worth nothing but honesty
I will remove the scarlet letter from my chest and hold the hand of the little girl I used to be
and say I’m sorry to her
I’m sorry for cheating you out of the joy you have always deserved
and I will wait
for a man
to come along
that can give me the truth of how much he can really love me