I remember people would try to clown me at times for deferring to my brother with accusations of me trying to be like him sprinkled in, but in any case I stood in his shadow following the example that he gave.
I was around 10 years old when I became aware of the power of that shadow and ties of brotherhood when I bore witness to what I now know was a sexual assault – but in retrospect it was the influence of my brother that saved me from the same fate on that afternoon.
When one of the attackers grabbed me – he quickly loosened his grip only to ruefully acknowledge: “Ay… This is Alfie’s little brother!”
Accordingly, I never strayed far from his example because it was his consistency that spoke volumes – it was the typical dynamic: older brother him, youngest brother me…
Following in his footsteps, watching…
mimicking, taking notes and as men – evolving and taking cues from each other.
This brings to mind a statement from our Father years earlier while the three of us had dinner at one of our favorite haunts… one that echoes to this day.
I remember the resignation in my Father’s voice when he said it and how it unnerved me:
“It’s gonna be on y’all two… Y’all gonna do some things, I see it!“Taken from the Youngblood Chronicles.
… and he chuckled as if he knew something that we didn’t.
At that moment, something told me to hang onto every word that he tendered.
This was more than the typical Youngblood speech.
To be continued…