Growing up we had mandates, being told that family was omnipresent and having it conveyed in no certain terms that we had to set an example for those that came after us became second nature of sorts.
As my older brother you took on that job with unbridled zest – defending the honor of our family with an indefatigable sense of purpose that served to be infectious.
Being left speechless in the face of inspirational actions is a hard act to follow, but you’ve earned the right for me to attempt to lend words to demomstrate my appreciation and adoration.
I thank you for the honor of allowing my to stand in the shadow of your selflessness, for speaking those hard truths to me throughout our lives not because it was convenient, but because it was necessary.
I often endeavored to walk in your footsteps, only to discover that they were too big for my feet.
For picking me up when I’ve faltered, and shielding me from the arrows of an indifferent world. Knowing that words ring hollow and that I am not equal to what you have tendered to me time and again.
It gives even more credence to why I am humbled to be your brother.
In the words of the Patterson Brother Anthem as taken from the chorus of Isley Brothers classic – Caravan of Love:
Accordingly you’ve never let me harbor any doubt.
Thank you for being my champion, my example – my brother.
Happy Birthday Brah.