My name is Taylor.
I like to write.
My brother’s name is Lawrence.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve had a brother. He’s been gone awhile now, but I see him often, and when I don’t, I think of him often. I’ve had a mommy. She lives far away in Chicago, my old home. I live in the Bay Area now. And I have my grandparents in Indianapolis, my ammachi and my appachen. But most of all, I have my two dads. I’ve always thought of PapaG as my real dad, my brother Lawrence’s dad, my mommy Kathleen’s husband, and my grandparents’ son. And I’ve thought of his brother PapaC as my stepdad. For almost five years, I’ve lived with PapaC.
For the first four years of my life, my PapaC was my Uncle Baldy. My brother and I were with our PapaG in Scottsdale then Chicago, and for part of that, I was with my mommy. We were a happy family. It was that way for a long time. But then we did what most brothers do. We fought. And sometimes it got ugly. We’re both big. We were over 110 lbs back then. We’re both ultra competitive. And we’re both alpha dogs. We both wanted to be kings standing beside our dad. We fought a lot; and sometimes it got ugly. It was just the way that it was. But it doesn’t work that way. So my dad made the really tough decision to split us up, and I moved in with his brother, my uncle who became my dad.
I sat in the hallway of my new home for a week, staring at the front door waiting for my dad to come back to take me home. And he did come back each night, but he always left without me. I stayed there for a long time, thinking the next day would be the day. I wonder what I did that he didn’t want me home anymore. I loved my uncle, but he wasn’t my dad.
I’m older now. And I’m wiser. I know the greatest sign of my dad’s love was to send me away to live with my uncle. My brother needed my dad more than I did. That being said, I needed my dad. A lot. And I wanted my mommy. But, as history proved out, it was my brother Lawrence that needed to stay. I didn’t realize then how much I loved my brother. We fought; but we didn’t know better. Maybe we fought because we loved each other. That’s just the way when the young don’t realize what they have. I was four when I moved in with my uncle. Soon after our eighth birthday, my brother went to doggy heaven way too soon. He had bone cancer. And though he fought long and hard, a true inspiration for our family, he left us.
Though no one else can see him, Law does come to visit me often and I ask him what doggy heaven is really like. And he says it’s the place with a never ending supply of tennis balls to fetch, bones to chew, tubs and tubs of food that you can eat forever and ever but not get fat, and best of all, you actually get to be with everyone you love all the time and at the same time, even if they are not in the same place together. It’s magical. The only downside is that they can’t see you. But Law clued me in on a secret. If he tries really really, and I mean really hard, if he talks loud enough, they can feel him, the way I can actually see him.
My relationship with my brother is better than ever. I wish we could have figured this out when he was alive.
And I now think of both my PapaG and my PapaC as my real dads.
To be continued…
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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