It’s been a dozen years since you left us, but you’ll always be my big brother. I think of you most days, particularly during those late nights when I’m feeling a little lonely and down on myself.
I was on the sidelines when you bumped into trouble all those times as a kid. No doubt you were Mom’s favorite child, which came with mixed blessings. In her eyes, little Eddie could do no wrong. As you graduated into the big leagues of malicious behaviors, you had no backstop. Our dad, Vern, was home infrequently, traveling around the Midwest making a living.
As your little brother, I felt your anger, your rage, your self-deception escalate to dangerous levels. I was relieved and happy when you left home while I was still in grade school.
Today, I carry a deep sense of guilt. As adults, when our paths crossed, I should have reached out and offered you a supporting hand. Instead, I chronicled your bizarre and indecorous behaviors back to family members. “Hey, Irene and Vern, don’t tell me I’m messing up. Look what your Edward is doing.”
You deserved so much more from me. You were the one who taught me to ride a bike and catch a bullet pass. You got me out of neighborhood scrapes and took more than one spanking that belonged to me.
I love you, Eddie. I should have told you many years ago.