This past weekend was my nieces birthday party. She turned 8 years old. She is my twin brothers only child and my only blood niece. My brother absolutely adores his daughter, he does the best he can as a father although I often think he feels like he has failed her.
When my brother and I were placed into foster care I immediately went into survival mode, while my brother recluded to a place within himself that wouldn’t allow anyone in. We went through a period of time where he wouldn’t speak to anyone but me. The trauma that we both endured definitely affected us in different ways and because I was the older twin (by two minutes), I felt that I needed to protect him. As we grew up he came out of his shell but always struggled in being able to advocate for himself. I believe that because he internalized his feelings for so long they began to manifest in other areas of his life and eventually he found himself in trouble and then in jail for all of his teen and some of his adult life, but then came my niece, who I will refer to by CASM. CASM completely took his heart and although he didn’t change immediately it didn’t take him long, with a little help from the good Lord, to understand that his life was no longer his.
This past weekend he was able to make his daughters birthday wish come true. All she desired was a Barbie dream house, (didn’t We princesses all want a Barbie dream house?) which of course cost and arm and a leg. Her mom told her she would have to wait until Christmas but mentioned to my brother how much she wanted it for her birthday. Last week I walked in the house and there was this 4′ box that contained my nieces birthday wish. My brother was so excited to tell me how he used his paycheck that week to buy her that dream house. He was so proud and so was I.
People will never understand the struggles that my brother endures on a daily basis. He wants to do good and be a great man and an even greater father but it’s hard. When he went to jail at the age of 15 I believe that time just stopped. So therefore there are things that he has to learn as an adult, but one thing no one has to teach him, is how to love his daughter with all of his heart.
The moment that he and his daughter shared when he gave her that dream house is one I will never forget and I pray he doesn’t either. It will be that moment that will remain embedded in his mind when the devil attempts to attack him. It will be that moment that will remind him that his story isn’t over yet.