brother

‘Hey Dad, I want to raise your son. I want him as my own,’ I insanely told my dying father. ‘I didn’t want to put that burden on you,’ he said. He died just 18 hours later.’

“‘Adopt him. You’re supposed to be his mom. You’re the one. Tell your dad. Tell him now.’ My dad visited me in dream. I was standing in a white room. He walked towards me holding a baby wrapped in a light blue blanket. He handed him over, smiled and kissed the baby’s head. When I woke up, I knew.”

‘My son was screaming, ‘That thing on her chest popped!’ The doctor bandaged it up and told me to change it once a day. Um, yeah. Ok. Have you ever tried taking a bandage off a 4-year-old? Like giving a cat a bath.’

“My son came in. He knew he had to act. He took a bandage from the counter and presented his little sister with a simple question. ‘If I put this bandage on me, and let you take it off, will you let Mom take off yours?’ She pondered the idea, then nodded in agreement. He was going to protect her forever.”

‘I really messed up Will. I’ll call you soon.’ Nothing prepares you for this. I pulled over and lost it. I look back at conversations I had with my sister and tears run down my cheek.’

“Emily was such a gifted kid. I was the jealous older brother. I always thought she would be going places. Until things changed. We received a large inheritance from our grandmother’s passing. It was like a switch. ‘I never want to see or speak to you again,’ I said to my sister.”

‘Stephanie, can you tell me what day it is? Do you know what year it is?’ Zoning in and out of a dark haze, paramedics asked me these questions. My strength was gone, my spirit was broken.’

“It was an eerily early morning knock. There stood my mom. On her right side was my uncle, and on the left was my Papaw. ’Your brother has been in a car accident, Steph.’ That one moment was a life changer for me. He finally gave me an ultimatum, ‘I cannot watch this any longer. You choose right now, me or him.'”

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