My brother, my only sibling, came home from jail on Monday. It’s been five years since I’ve seen him free and laughing in the sun. My baby brother became a man behind steel bars and brick mortar. I’ve lost a lifetime with him.
His “homecoming” was filled with excitement and anxiety. He arrived on February 2nd —my mother’s birthday. She was not there waiting for him with open arms and laughter in her eyes. She is gone. She slipped away just five days before she was scheduled to visit him. The sadness is no longer for me, but for him. For now, more than ever, it is real.
And me, the big sister that protected and guarded him as a child has failed again to protect him—this time, from death. I wish that I could ease his pain, but I am full. I don’t know what is planned for his life, or mine for that matter, but it seems to me that life can be cruel and obscene.