As a child, you teased me making sure my skin was tough enough for the cruel world and mean kids.
As a child, you showed me the definition of unconditional love.
As a child, it was you who taught me to fight with my hands, making sure I protected myself at all times. Protect myself from the bullies and people who tried to test me.
As an adult, It was you who taught me to refrain from physical confrontation (unless necessary) but instead retaliate with my intelligence, wit and words. Always advising me not to allow anyone to be in control of my emotions.
As a child, you told me to stay away from boys by saying “they only want one thing” Of course I didn’t listen, but i never once forgot what you told me and eventually had to discover the truth on my own.
As a teenager, when you sensed I was getting a little too rebellious you purposely embarrassed me in front of my friends to keep me in line.
As a teenager you gave me “the talk” which you admitted was awkward and difficult to have at the time. Nonetheless you didn’t shy away from it, and in fact stood your ground. As a pre-teen venturing off into high school you taught me to observe my environment, most importantly the people surrounding me and not become “that girl”.
As a college student, you went against guy code and gave me the emotional insight of a guys mind. Sharing with me that males and females are actually more similar than society tends to make it seem.
As a college graduate you taught me to not undermine my degree and not allow terminations from temporary jobs tarnish my determination. You told me to stop bawling and go back to the drawing board.
As a college graduate, you told me to hold my head high and be persistent, constantly reminding me “Yolanda you have a Bachelors degree, you’re one step ahead of so many other people”. You told me NOT to give up, but instead continue searching and diversify my options.
As an adult, you supported my decision either way between packing it all up and returning home or sticking through the difficult times and living on my own.
As an adult, you advised me friendships change, people change, while assuring me it’s all apart of life. All that matters is that I do not allow those external factors to break my spirit and ruin my self perspective or self esteem.
As an adult, you told me there’ll be moments in life where I’ll feel alone, but I have to get through those times to discover and understand myself.
As an adult, you told me I have to create my own happiness by finding my happy song and playing it even on my bad days
As an adult you told me to stop trying to impress others and just focus on myself.
As a child, I wanted to be like you. As a child, I felt protected and safe in your presence.
As a little sister, (the wash belly) and the last of the bunch, I’m not exactly sure what I’ve taught you all. I just hope whatever it is, it was worth it.
Even if I had the option, I wouldn’t have changed anything.
Thank you for the brother lessons.