Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things will be alright.

Yesterday a letter from my brother appeared in my mailbox.  I was expecting it.  I had recently written him in reference to The Wife being knocked up.  I knew he hadn't received word that our little one was without a heartbeat and thus hadn't made it.
I normally look forward to receiving mail from my kid brother.  Despite everything, I love the guy and look forward to our longhand communication; however, I wasn't looking forward to this letter.  I sat it on the table and prepared myself for the excitement that would be read through his chicken scratch and horrible spelling and grammar ability-- worse than mine, even.
Eventually, I worked up the courage to open it.  And it read as I had expected.  He was thrilled.  He was excited for me.  He assured me I'd be a great father.  He wished he could be around to share it with me and The Wife.
What I hadn't prepared myself for was the anger that would follow.
My little brother is a father himself.  He and his girlfriend became pregnant with my nephew when she was 15 and he was 19.  They had made plans to abort this child, but never got around to it.  So, when my little nephew entered the world on September 11, 2001 they were not at all prepared.  All of this could be forgiven, I suppose, but my brother failed to ever step up to the parental plate.
In the letter he wrote about how having a child brings such joy, how it completes you, and how it causes a life revaluation.
Yet, my brother is currently serving a 48-yearr prison sentence for murder.  Clearly, I can't say he's much of a father.  I can't say that he ever took his fatherly responsibilities too seriously, especially the night he became high, and put a bullet in another man's head over some drug deal gone bad.  Of course that all brought to the surface that he use to keep drugs and guns under my nephew's bed, among other disgusting displays of parental irresponsibility.
Of course, he voiced all that in his letter... listing his screw ups, regrets, and remorse.
Still, it did not make it easy to read.  Him and his advice.  Him and his joy.  Him and his talk about the child he can't raise.  Sometimes life is just unfair.  It's unfair that I won't be a father this go around.  It's unfair that my nephew was dealt a crappy father.
I wonder who I'll be unfair to when I write him back assuring him that he does what he can to be a good father, and that I'm alright with God's plan... that things will be alright.

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