When I was 4 years old, my mom had a baby. He was another brother. I already had two. I was wedged between my older brother and my next brother. An almost equal split with 16 months one way and 19 months the other.  I don’t remember my mom being pregnant with my second brother; I wasn’t even 2.

I vividly remember mom being pregnant when I was 4. I was mature enough to notice how her body shape drastically changed. I was attentive enough to be aware of an atmosphere of anticipation. My parents were very young and already struggling financially and emotionally with juggling the demands of three curious little children all under the age of 5. Another one would surely increase the noise level.

I don’t remember having troubled thoughts about it. I’ve always been optimistic. I was very anxious to meet the new person. Daily, I played with both brothers. I probably had dolls. We had a dog I loved. I remember thinking that this baby would be better than anything I had ever played with before, even better than our completely perfect dog.

He was born and when he came home from the hospital, it was love at first sight. He was incredibly cute and endearing and he loved anything and everything I did for him. I got to feed him a bottle. I got to help change him. I was allowed to dress him in his baby clothes all by myself. He was my very own baby. We even slept in the same room.

The years went by. We adored one another. When he was about 22 months old, mom had another baby. This baby was a girl. She had a whole team to shower her with love. She was not my baby the same way that my baby brother had been.

I had become a student in school when she was the born. I loved school.

My baby brother had a series of life events that are not fun to remember. At 14, while on vacation in another state, he broke his leg very badly. He suffered a great deal from the break and the re-break to repair the damaged leg. He was never the same after that. He drifted far away from me and towards drug-seeking behaviors that I didn’t comprehend.

Sadly, he died about 14 months ago. He had a cancerous brain tumor that his doctors have now suggested could have been growing for a very long time.

I wish I would have known how to help him. No matter how far he drifted, there was always a part of me that never stopped thinking of him as my sweet baby.

He was born in the month of July. Dear, dear Brother, I love you and miss you.

Rest in peace my sweet baby.