Why do I love my brother? He is genuine, smart and soft hearted. His dynamic has effected my whole life in a positive manner. More so than anyone else, he has emulsive control of his actions. Something I feel I fail at. He is there when you wouldn’t think he would be. He is a true friend.
When I was young, my brother Mike and I were not very close. We have 10 years in between us, so naturally we led 2 separate lifestyles. I would see his life as vignettes. Him getting ready to go. Him coming home. Him having friends over, etc. I very much took the role as a younger sibling who watched, sometimes in awe, sometimes in confusion but always with intrigue. He was a charismatic, fun person to be around.
He moved out at a young age and “real” life engulfed him. There he was, one day living as my older brother, the next gone into the working world, living with friends and being a grown up. It’s funny how people come in and out of your life. But the beauty of family is, he was gone but not far. His visits would range from getting laundry done to coming to dinner and of course family parties. The old ball and chain for some. For me, I cherished these times. Call them bookmarks if you will. But each return of his marked a new chapter, a new development. A story being written. I was so interested in as a young boy.
As I grew older, it seemed our relationship starting becoming more relevant. Our conversations began spawning hours of talk. Talk that mattered. We even started hanging out. More so then just him baby sitting. But going to movies, playing video games. Going back and forth to countless Mets games. We graduated from brothers and enrolled in friends.
Many times I put myself in his shoes. Would I be a “good” older brother? Would I have the effect on someone my brother had on me? My personally opinion would be no. I hardly am good at anything I do. But yes, someone could be named a brother just by having a younger sibling. In my opinion though, the “brother” tag needs to earned. It isn’t something someone just is because. The merits for that badge includes: Faithfulness, strong, caring, trusting, reliable, role model. Mike DiLeo has all these plus more.
Today, I love my brother very much. He is very important to me for selfish reasons and unselfish alike, but nonetheless important. I appreciate all he has done for me in my life whether I know it all or not. And I’m sure I don’t. We now live across the country from each other and I could earnestly say we have never been closer. Thanks Mike, for being the best big brother anyone could have.