My Brother, Where Is Your Soul Now?

My Brother, Where Is Your Soul Now?

Two lives affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
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To My Brother:

I love you so much.

A great deal of my identity is wrapped up in you.

Whenever I see you suffering from your Multiple Sclerosis, I die a little more inside. I cry for you often. I cry because I miss who you were. I cry because who you are now is no one. It's unfair that at 31 years old, you are completely debilitated from Multiple Sclerosis.

When we were growing up, no one said my name without yours immediately following it. We go together like peanut butter and jelly.

You were there when Jermaine and his friends assaulted me in the basement.

You were there when The Upstairs Man assaulted me in the basement.

We had endless adventures in the house and on the street of Hamlen.

We both became moody teenagers who took each other for granted.

Then as we became adults, we found our way to each other again. We're like twins.

Which is why your Multiple Sclerosis is paralyzing me too.

Know that when your hurting, I am too. When your body abandons the signals coming from your brain, mine does too. When you cry, I do too. When you want to just give up and die, I do too. When you're struggling and trying to get at least a crumb of salvation, I am too. We are one.

I wish you hadn't lost everything you had. I wish you would have had children so I could spoil them rotten and always tell them about how energetic and how special you are. I wish that you could walk again. I wish Multiple Sclerosis had never happened to you.

I miss the day-long phone calls we used to have. I miss the games we played as kids. I miss your conspiracy theories. I miss opening Christmas presents with you every year. I miss your laughter. I miss how we played as children — growing up in a world that didn't have cell phones, internet, or even a television set. I miss seeing you be independent.

What lays in the nursing home bed day after day is not my brother. You've become an empty shell. Where is your soul now? Why have you been forsaken? Why do I wish I could have Multiple Sclerosis too just so I can be near you always?

Because I don't understand your disease. I don't understand why it had to take your joy from your life. I don't understand the bigger picture your Multiple Sclerosis plays in our lives. I don't want to be in a world that your not in. Why did this have to happen to you?

I'm sorry for all the times your moody teenage angst made me resent you. I'm sorry I can't take care of you. I'm sorry I picked on you as a kid. I'm sorry we didn't share more interests. I'm sorry your life was taken from you. I'm sorry for not being a better sister.

I miss you.

I love you so much.

- Kim

Cover Image Credit: Kimberly Steele

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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A Reminder To My Little Brother, You Are One Of My Largest Blessings

My baby brother deserves the world and more.

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My not so little brother Nicholas, is one of my life's greatest blessings. He is childish, yet mature for his age, the one I protect but also the one who protects me. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would feel this way, I am not so sure I would have believed you.

Siblings whether you like it or not, are tied to you for life. They are the people who understand you best, know you forwards and backwards, and simply know what you go through on a daily basis.

Nicholas and I, while younger had the classic older sister younger brother relationship. Kicking and screaming at one another over the silliest of things, and very rarely giving the other as little as a hug. Fighting like cats and dogs. But regardless of all this we were always protective of each other.

I would say our relationship shifted for the better, when times got the hardest in our house. We relied on one another. Comforted and supported one another. It was different and in the best way possible. Thankful for these hard times. Simply because without it, I wouldn't be as close to Nicky.

I believe in my brother. I see the best in him always, even when others at times doubt him. I know that right now as a teenage boy, these times are confusing. You're confused about where you fit in this life. And I want you to know that wherever you end up, I am by your side.

High school is complicated and so is navigating who you are. But do not ever worry Nicky, because I am here to remind you when you forget just how special you are. Here are some reasons why!

Reason one; because whenever you see someone hurting you immediately warm them with one of the tightest yet softest hugs. Overwhelming people with this sense of comfort and support. You may not offer motivational words, but you are there with quiet strength for those you love.

Reason two; that goofy smile paired with the deepest of dimples can light up just about any room and heart. You have a charisma about you bud, one that many people are drawn to. This is something that will carry you through life.

Reason three; even though you like to pretend you do not care about most things, all you want is to be accepted and seen. Just like the rest of the world. You are relatable, you work hard, you fiercely protect and care for your friends and family. You do not even realize it but you have the tools to influence so many other people. Do not be scared to unlock the potential of your greatness.

Reason four; you are so bright. Some people truthfully just do not fit the mold of educational systems. That is okay that you are one of them, and just because you cannot conform to this doesn't diminish the fact that your brain is larger than life. No other 15 year old I know, becomes interested in conversation of bitcoin let alone has productive thoughts on the matter. You're going to be successful in your own ways, despite what your report card says.

These reasons barely scratch the surface as to why I believe in you. Sometimes, as humans we need to be reminded that we are doing great. That regardless of how messy our worlds seem not, one day they will make sense. And we will discover our greater purpose.

Like I said, Nicholas' potential is endless. I truthfully believe that. Because that is what a sibling does. They believe in one another, when it seems like the rest of the world doesn't. Nicky may be younger than me, but I learn so much from him. And as I play the role of the older sister, I also discover things about myself too.

I do not think Nicholas understands truthfully how special he is. How much he warms our hearts and home. He was the best addition to our family and he is one of the largest blessings in my life personally as well. I am so thankful.

This is a corny tribute, however one that is so necessary. Simply because I cannot help but gush about my baby brother. I love you to the moon and back Nicky, keep the goofy smile on your face, continue to love hard, and continue to expand that brilliant mind of yours.

I'll continue to protect and love you for as long as I live. Show the world just how special you are. Again, I believe in you!

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