When I was 15 I found out my mom was pregnant and normally people would be excited, and although I was excited to have another sibling I cared more about what my next sibling would have to endure since they would be the youngest. My parents were barely starting to get their sh*t together. Naturally life took it’s course and blessed us with my youngest brother. I say blessed because he is the best little angel that came into my life when I needed it the most.
I was struggling at the time, and I didn’t have much guidance at home nor any support. My parents would often gamble and go to the casino leaving my brother and I to fend for ourselves. Which usually meant I would fend for my brother and I. I was struggling with depression since no one was ever home, and I was stuck with the responsibilities given to me. I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends and go places because that meant my parents wouldn’t be able to go to the casino.
Once my brother was born my life changed more than I thought it would. I remember my parents were going to leave my brother with one of their friends while they went to the casino so I volunteered to babysit my newborn brother. Doing so created more responsibility for me naturally, but it turned into a sense of purpose. At the time before my brother was born I didn’t think I mattered. I often thought if I died nobody would miss me and nobody would care. Seeing my newborn brother’s face and his innocence made me want to protect him from the struggles he would have to bear in the future. Once I started babysitting him it turned into a regular routine. That’s why to this day he and I have such a close bond because I practically raised him.
A few years went by and we continued to grow together, he became 5 years old the year I graduated from college and then I was preparing to transfer. What I didn’t know was I would miss him sooooo much more than I had anticipated. When I was away at UC Davis, I felt like I was missing out on his life. I didn’t get to see him get awards and hear about his days at school and help him deal with things at home. Every single time I’ve struggled in the past and thought I wasn’t going to make it, I always thought about him and how I would want to help him in the future and be there for him. Thinking of him got me through many tough situations. I hope in the future he knows how much he helped me.
Even now since I’m going through a little bit of a tough time I think about him and how I want him to have the happiest and best life he could ever have and that motivates me to do better. It keeps me going for myself and for him. My brother inspired me to do better for myself and to do better so I could help him when he’s older. He made me want to be a better person despite being depressed and having harmful thoughts. He’s the only person in my family that has meant so much to me.