My brother, Alan Haddad, currently lives approximately 620 miles away from me. He is a 22 year-old college student at West Virginia University and just so happens to be the most intelligent person I know.
Ever since I was a little girl, my older brother has been someone I could always rely on no matter what. When I was in pre-K, my brother was in fifth grade — that is the only time the two of us have ever attended the same school. We rode the same bus to school every day, and the seats were divided up by grade in ascending order from front to back. I was obligated to sit in the front seat with all of the other kids that were my age, but for some reason I never felt comfortable around them. After noticing this, my brother let me sit all the way in the back of the bus with him and his friends. I never until this day imagined how irritating I must have been to all of the fifth graders; what can you really talk about in front of a 4 year-old, anyway? Somehow, Alan still made me feel involved — I still remember him stealing my neon hairbands and tying up the many parts of his long hair, making not only the fifth graders and me laugh, but everyone else on the bus, too.
Through time I realized that my brother did not involve me in things solely because he didn't want me to feel left out, but I began to believe that it was because he genuinely enjoyed spending time together — especially as we grew older. We grew to be very good friends; whenever we can, we spend a lot of time together and always have things to talk about. When I became a teenager, our age difference didn't seem as evident as it had before. That is when our relationship became more mutual — one where we can both talk to each other about things like close friends. And I believe that in the future we will only get closer and closer because, as they say, the older you get, the less age gap starts to matter.
As he grew up, my brother continued to be the charismatic, amiable person that pretty much everyone got along with. He is still that person today. And as I grow up, my brother teaches me not only the importance of being kind and forgiving to others, but to also balance that out with a strong will and powerful voice. Still to this day, when things don't go as planned, Alan helps me fix the mistakes I make and motivates me to speak out when I am not treated fairly.
Throughout his many pep talks, my brother humbles himself by claiming that he is far from being perfect and that he constantly makes mistakes, just like everyone else. Sometimes it is hard to believe him. If there is anyone in the world that I believe can do anything, it's unquestionably him. He's the type of guy that can make things work.
Because of this and a countless amount of other reasons, I thank God every day for blessing me with the best older brother and friend I could ever ask for.