My younger brother called to say thank you for being the person I am. Let me explain. I grew up in an upper middle class family where we never wanted for anything. When I was 15, my mom was hit by a drunk driver and became permanently disabled, both physically and mentally. We quickly lost everything – savings, income to support our lifestyle, and our house. This left me in charge of the family – working full time to pay the bills, taking care of my mom’s medical needs and basically raising my 10 year old brother.
I worked full time until I graduated high school. Did my best to raise a child, provide discipline, go to parent teacher conferences, help with homework, made sure he graduated. I was woefully unqualified, but did my best. After high school, I worked 2 full time jobs and continued to care for the family. I supported my brother until he was 19, and then, with my encouragement, he joined the Navy. He’s had an extremely successful career, is married and overall very happy. I’m 30 now.
I finally paid off the massive credit card bills from that period in my life and have a successful career. A few weeks ago, my brother, now 25, called me out of the blue. He thanked me for all the sacrifices I made, for raising him to be a good person, for supporting him, and for stepping up when I could have easily walked away (like our older brother did) . He was literally in tears while saying this. By the end of the conversation, I was also in tears. Supporting him was hardest period in my life. But that 1 phone call made it all worth it.
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