On June 26, 1999, I received a blessing I didn't know I was receiving. I was less than a year old, and I don't remember the exact events, as expected, but I suspect that I knew at least something out of the ordinary was happening. His name was Leon, and he was going to be my brother. It wasn't until now, eighteen years later that I understand exactly why my brother was placed in my life. The years of arguing seemed to be pointless, but once I moved away to college, I fully understood that Leon wasn't just the source of most of my irritation, but that he was, in fact, my very best friend. This is my letter of thanks to him for all those years of putting up with me. I know it was a lot to handle.
Now, to understand our relationship, it is important to understand the kind of people we are. Leon is laid back. He's always calm, cool, and collected. If it's not his family, dog, girlfriend, or football, he probably won't give it a second thought. I, on the other hand, am a control freak. I have to know all parts of a plan, how we're getting there, and who's going. This is where Leon and I always butted-heads. I always tried to pressure him into having a sense of urgency, but it wasn't until a few days ago that I realized that there was no changing Leon. He was going to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted.
In addition to these things, Leon is also a sweet person. Though he is a huge football player, he is still very much one fluffy teddy bear, and that's what I love the most about him. Leon is a listener. You can tell him anything and he'll let you cry about it all you want, but when you're finished, he'll give you the right advice on what to do. He's very slow to react to things, and I always admired this quality in him. He is able, time and time again, to remind me to take things slow, think, and react accordingly. He is my rock and he always has been. He knows everything about me, and can read me, which is annoying, but I have grown to appreciate his ability to know when there is something wrong or if I'm upset.
Leon is also one of the most selfless people I know. He doesn't care who needs what, he'll give it to them. He's taught me to be as generous and helpful as he is. His genuine heart to care has offered me many things, especially unconditional love. As my parents and everyone else who knows us knows, Leon and I argue everyday, sometimes multiple times. But we always bounce back. He is quick to apologize while I am more stubborn, but I am learning from him every day.
Leon, if you read this to the end, know I honestly, from the bottom of my heart appreciate every single thing you have ever done for and with me: all the times we got in trouble together, the times we adventured together, and the times we won together. You're my very best friend; honest, caring, and the most loving person I know. I love you, kid. I can't wait to see my best friend again.
Your awesome, incomparable, brilliant, and obviously humble older sister.