To my brother, I hope you know…

It’s been many years already. I’m not sure you know how much you matter to me. I never really got into it, but it’s because I couldn’t. I still can’t . I can’t tell you any of this. I’ll choke. I’ll drown in my tears. I rather just avoid it. Plus–I don’t want to hurt you. I know it hurts you to hear me cry. That’s why I’ve never really got into it. You don’t like to know I hurt, or to see me sad at all. You hate it. It hurts you in return because I’m a part of you, and you’re a part of me. But you mean the world to me.

I hope you know that.

I hope you know I miss you. I miss you more than you know. I miss you so much. I miss you too much. It hurts–how much I miss you. I’ve never stopped missing you, so I’ve never stopped hurting. I can’t stop missing you if I tried.

I hope you know that.

I hope you know you’re still my best friend. No one can ever replace you. I can never get used to being with out you. I’m incomplete without you. You’re a piece of me. You’re my other half. Until you come home, I’ll remain incomplete. Our memories have not faded, and they never will. I still remember everything like it was yesterday.

I hope you know that.

I remember when you were smaller than me and you had the long hair–do you remember? It was up to your shoulders. I remember when our neighbors dog broke through the fence and began to chase you, and then bit you in the ass. We called for an ambulance and the EMT said, ” How old is she?” HAHAHAHA. I remember laughing so much. You looked at me and chuckled like it was nothing, but I knew you were mad he thought you were a girl. Hilarious.

I remember when you told me some girl was messing with you. I swore I was tough. When it came to you I had no tolerance. I snapped at anyone who messed with you. It would make my blood boil. I remember asking, ” Where is she?”, and then I ran outside to the play yard looking for her. As I walked up to her I realized she was a big girl. I was low key scared, I wont lie. I couldn’t stop though, I had to check her. Aint no one messing you.

I remember the many times we fought and I would beat your ass. I beat your ass every single time and you hated it. It was so funny. People loved to see us fight. We fought like cat and dogs man. I mean– we fought fought. Until one day I couldn’t beat you anymore. You outgrew me. You got bigger and stronger than me. We never fought again after that. You never put or even raised your hand at me again. Those times were over. You instead became very protective of me. I swear no man has ever loved or protected me like you did, not even dad I think. You were willing to hurt anyone and everyone over me. If they were females, you would contact their male friends or family members, making them responsible for their actions against me. “If they fuck with her, imma come to you to settle it, man to man”. That’s what you would say. Everyone and anyone, including papi couldn’t come at me. You weren’t having it. You’d instantly snap. Despite the shit people would talk about me for being out there and pregnant so young, you never treated me differently. You were never embarrassed of me. You loved me unconditionally. You love hard just like me. I remember you being so happy about me giving you a niece. I remember papi kicked me out of the house and you would sneak me in to hang out with you every time he was gone. You hated to see me suffer. You would stand in front of him telling him to leave me alone. You were my favorite human ever. You still are…I remember how happy you were to meet your niece for the first time. You washed your hands the moment you came in. You stared my way full of joy at the same time. You got close, and then you leaned over and kissed your niece for the first time. I still remember the sound of your kisses. I still remember the touch of your arms around us.

I hope you know I’m not ashamed of you. I need you to know— that I’m not ashamed of you. I really need you to stop feeling that way. I need you to stop saying sorry to me and to stop calling yourself a failure. I need you to stop promising that you’re going to prove your a changed man. I love you just how you are. I don’t want you to change. Your mistakes don’t define you. They never did, and they never will. They weren’t, and aren’t you. And you don’t ever have to explain that to me because I already know. I know you better than anyone in the world. You’re a reflection of me. You’re the sweetest soul ever. You did what you did and I know it hurt you. I know you weren’t proud of it. I know you were just being loyal to your boys because that’s how you are. Your loyal. You got heart. That doesn’t justify your actions–we know that. I’m just asking you to please forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and realize that you never asked for that life to begin with. You never wanted it. It wasn’t your fault that you got caught up. After moving to providence and losing mom at the time, and being thrown in the environment we were thrown into, at such a young age, what else were you supposed to do? You were a child Mikey. Stop blaming yourself. All you wanted were distractions and to learn to live a new life. All you wanted was friends and you made them. They weren’t ideal, but they had your back. They showed you love and made you laugh. They were your bro’s–the only one’s you had since Joey was taken from you. They gave you many memorable moments. Trust me, I get it. Besides– our options were limited living in the hood. You didn’t know any better and fuck anyone who thinks otherwise.

Instead know that I am so proud of you. Know that I admire you. I know you have suffered in ways I can never even imagine in there but still– I can never tell. You walk with your head high. Your shoulders straight up. Your whole posture is on point. You dont show any fear or pain. Not in front of me. You remain so joyful and funny. Even if you’re not truly feeling good, you play it off well for me. You put me before you. You amaze me, really. I’m not in prison and I can barely remain mentally or emotionally stabled– so I can’t even imagine how you do it. But thank you. For real. I mean it. Thank you for staying strong because I couldn’t live without you. I need you to come home. I’m waiting for you.

I hope you know that.

I hope you know how beautiful you are. Tattoos and all. You’re still as beautiful to me. Your nieces too. They feel the same way. They love you just as much. They aren’t intimidated or afraid or ashamed of you. They can’t wait for you to come home either. They can’t wait to eat everything in the house with you again. They can’t wait to make big messes with you again. They can’t wait to watch movies back to back with you again. I remember you’d turn your phone off every time you were with them. You wanted to make sure nothing or no one interfered with your uncle and niece quality time. You would make sure no one knew where we lived so that you could keep us safe. Your nieces are waiting for you to come home too.

I hope you know that.

I hope you know I care so much about you. I know at times you may feel like I dont, but please know that I do. I care more than you’ll ever know. Theres not a day that goes by that I dont think about you. Theres not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for your safety and wellbeing. I love you and I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that I always miss your call and barely write you letters or visit you. I’m so sorry Mikey. Please don’t measure my love off of my lack of energy. I’m still struggling trying to find enough for myself. I still feel guilty though–so I’m truly sorry. I promise to try harder. I will for you because you’re worthy. You’re so worthy.

I hope you know that.

I hope you know God loves you. He tells me every time I talk to him. We talk about you everyday. I pray for you everyday. I pray your clothes and blanket keeps you warm. I pray you sleep throughout the night. I pray you dont get any nightmares. I pray no one hurts you. I pray you feel no pain. I pray you don’t fall asleep hungry. I pray you don’t fall asleep crying. I pray you’re sleeping well right now. I pray your showers are soothing. I pray your head remains high. I pray you remain hopeful. I pray you remain optimistic. I pray the guards treat you like human–well at least most of them. I pray your boys uplift you. I pray you uplift each other. I pray you get to see some sunlight. I pray you don’t get sick. I pray your clothes is clean. I pray you change the way you see yourself. I pray you realize your value. I pray you know that you are the best brother any sister could ever have, and that I wouldn’t change you for anything in the world.

I hope you know that.

And I hope you know that you have a home to come home to. I hope you know it isn’t over for you. I hope you know that you have a whole life ahead of you, and that we’ll make it work, together–you and I. Know that I got your back. Know that you’ll never go cold, or hungry, or lonely ever again. Know that I’ll protect you. Know that I believe in you. Know that when it gets hard, I’ll be right with you. Know that when it seems impossible, I’ll remind you it’s not. Know that when you fall, I’ll pick you back up. Know if you have nothing–I’ll have nothing with you. I’ll always be here.

I hope you know that.

And before I finish I want to admit that I’m envious. I’m envious of the prison facility you reside in. I’m envious of it having you. I envy the little room that get’s to keep you. I envy the blanket that gets to hold you. I envy the others that get to see you everyday. I envy those that get to eat with you. I envy those that get to play with you. I envy those that get to hear your jokes. I envy those that get to hear your laugh, and see you smile. I’m envious of the happiness that takes place without me. Last but not least–I envy those that get to call your name and call you over to them because it’s something I wish I could do everyday. I’d call you right now if I could, and I’d tell you that I love you more than I did yesterday.

I hope you know that.

Your sister Tati….

2 thoughts on “To my brother, I hope you know…

  1. Missing someone is one of the biggest heartaches, really makes think about a lot in life and to keep those loved ones close. Reading thing makes me feel like I can’t wait for him to come home just so I can see you as a whole, your soul lifts me enough so I can just imagine you feeling complete and letting your love flow through it all. Keep them coming babygirl


  2. ” Know that I’ll protect you. Know that I believe in you. Know that when it gets hard, I’ll be right with you. Know that when it seems impossible, I’ll remind you it’s not. ” Heart 🎁 Melting..

    I strongly believed in the Hood lifestyle of Trust, Honesty, and Loyalty to the end. It’s really hard when you’re a product of your environment as the people that are hurt the most are the one’s closest to you. Achieved accomplishments is being able to overcome something out of nothing from a disadvantage deck of cards. Light at the end of the tunnel helps you rejuvenate the mentality to accept greatness to all that you always once was. Life’s a Marathon.. Stay 💪


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