I began this next chapter of Brother’s Keeper admittedly with a bit of angst; not because my truth has wavered but indeed because it has not. Each chapter of both the Mister and thus far the Brother series, has centered upon people who impacted my life but who have traveled beyond this sphere in preparation of receiving whatever rewards they earned while here.

The upcoming chapter will also include individuals who no longer walk among us but have left behind some whom I trust cared & loved them. With this in mind and before I go further, I declare openly that as an adult, I have never intentionally administered hatred or meanness of spirit toward anyone and it is not my intentions to do so in this forum. Admittedly, I will acknowledge the words contained in the next chapter could affect those who will recognize and still mourn the ones of whom I will write, but unfortunately none of us exist in a bubble or in exclusivities. We are like the concentric lines created when one drops a pebble into still water, expanding further and further until the pebble is forgotten but the effect lives on. We, each one of us, touch others either positively or negatively, some deliver both equally.

There might be those of you reading this who think it unfair of me to write of people who are no longer here to defend themselves. I covered this in the first chapter of “Mister“ and won’t reiterate it here. Suffice to say, that each person of whom I’ve documented as having negatively impacted “my” life had years and some had decades in which to make a defense but chose not, that is, all but one and to that One, I offered my genuine respect and earnest forgiveness for having done so. For these others, I offered long calculated forgiveness and the promise to live in truth and surprisingly, a minute measure of gratitude.

These of whom I have written and some of whom I will write, used cruel and brutish behavior against me and thereby changed who I was meant to be. That being said, I’m not altogether unhappy with the person I became because the person I became, despises cruelty in any form toward any group but especially children. Because of some of whom I will write, I support the absolute right of others to exist without fear of physical or emotional abuse or degradation. I’ve found I’m most at ease with those who were similarly treated but did not take as long to find the road to forgiveness as it took me. I admire those who managed to move forward, unbroken, without sweet memories to sustain them in the worst of times. I’m continually grateful that the ills imposed upon me did not everlastingly disturb my equanimity.

Because those who used their words to assist them in administering their various means of physical torture upon my person, I am acutely aware of the harm words can induce, therefore I avoid, obsessively so, any situations or occurrences whereby I might be called upon to apologize. Apologies do not spring forth easily from me so avoiding causing pain to anyone is paramount to me.

It is for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, that I am forewarning, not apologizing, for this next chapter chronicling a decisive time in my life. I attempted to articulate at the onset of this journey that I would write without embellishments and with compelling honesty. Therefore, if my life and what was done to me in my life offends anyone who may recognize their love ones within these pages or hold memories opposing mine, I challenge you to hold tightly to those memories. In no way, do I wish to take them from you or change them; on the contrary, Your good memories indicate that there dwelled redeeming qualities within your loved ones even though they chose to keep those qualities from me.

I sincerely hope that there appears to be no bitterness seeping from my fingertips and staining these pages because I’m truly not bitter, although I could make compelling arguments as to why I should be. Complete truth has sharp edges but it generally only lends its blade against those who attempt to use it under the cloak darkness.. Wielding a knife in darkness is a dangerous affair therefore, I live in the light and anything I’ve done in coarseness has only injured me. In some baffling and astounding way, I am grateful to each person who chose to deliver abject cruelty upon me as a defenseless child. But in moments of quiet reflections, of which I’ve had many during this process, their hateful voices come unbidden, and my soul flinches as each remembered lash cuts through the years, and leave its mark, this time upon my heart instead of my back. It is during those times when I wonder, if not for those who inflicted their best, who I might have become, what different road might I have traveled and would I have eventually found myself yet in the same place howbeit by a different route. I wonder.

Throughout the passing years, I’ve often been asked by relatives and friends, why was it that I left home and more importantly to them, was why I left in the manner in which I did. I always avoided the truth of the matter and found unfulfilling ways to sidestep their probing inquiries. I will however, finally address these questions in the upcoming chapter of My Brother was my Keeper.

To those whose memories of your loved ones differ from mine, despite what will be disclosed herein, I hope those memories will continue to bring you comfort as you live within your own truth.

The next chapter of My Brother was my Keeper, The Escape, Chinee and Me, will post next Friday, December 13th. I pray that it helps someone or allows someone to help someone.

I leave you for now with the hauntingly beautiful and appropriate words of William Wordsworth: “What though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind. In the primal sympathy, Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring out of human sufferings; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.”

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