Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Angel (one of them)

This picture was taken the summer of 1984, in a suburb of St. Paul, MN. It was the home of my step-mother's mom. We stopped there for a night or two on our way either to or from Wisconsin. I wasn't quite 10 years old yet... yeah, that's me, tied to a chair. The little boy about to help me get free... that's Brandon. That is one of the sweetest little boys anyone could have ever hoped to meet.

Brandon's mom and my dad had gotten married about a year before this picture was taken... and had been together for about a year before that. I remember Brandon was 2 and his little sister was 1, when they moved in with my sister, then 10 and myself, close to 8. From the moment they moved in, they were family. I didn't really understand the concept of step or half or anything else. They were my brother and sister.

Right from the start, Brandon and I got thrown together. Our small two bedroom house went from 3 inhabitant to 6 overnight. Brandon and our new little sister were placed in the same room my big sister and I had always shared. We only had a set of twin beds... so the little sis ended up with the big sis, and Brandon and I had to share a bed. I didn't mind though. He was so small, and he was my bud.

As we grew up, it was always Brandon and I together. We played hot wheels cars together, and legos. We stole our sisters' Barbie dolls for fun. We played in the sandbox, opening our own "insect vet clinic." We made up a super hero team - the solar stars. We fought evil together. As we got older, we spent our summers playing super heros, or writing a book about the Solar Stars. We'd go bike riding from dawn till dusk. We'd tie each other up just to see how long it took us to escape.

And we protected each other.

Living in the home we were forced into by a God we'd lost hope and faith in, all we had was each other.

One day, I didn't come home. Brandon wasn't quite 13 yet. I hadn't told him of my plan... I hadn't even known my plan until that afternoon, coming home from school, I decided I didn't want to go home. I saw him a couple times over the next two weeks... but always with the parents there, so I never truly got to speak to him. He'd already been told he was not allowed to miss me or love me anymore.

A year later, I got to see him, away from the parents, for a few minutes. He did miss me. He did love me. Just as I did him. But, the visit was cut short, and we had to go back to the other way. That's the last time I saw him. This was in April of 1994... just 3 weeks before his 14th birthday.

Six and a half years later... Thanksgiving morning of 2000... I got the phone call. Brandon was found hanging from a cable in his closet. He was 20 years old.

This month... in just over a week... this sweet little angel would have turned 33. 

I know he is watching over me. He, and one of our other brothers are both in Heaven watching over me and our siblings. He is still protecting me.

I love and miss you Brandon. Please continue to watch over me, and give Matthew a hug from me.

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