This is it. Here we are. All grown up. Life isn’t what we thought it was. But we made it. Together. Always beside me; we watched the same struggles. We learned how to laugh together; to be safe. We learned to stand up when others need help; especially each other. You taught me the meaning of loyalty. You taught me the meaning of team work. In world where we are demonized, stereotyped and put down you were always there.
You also piss me off. Stop blaming other people for the things you must take as your own responsibility. You can make a change, and you can make a difference, it isn’t going to be easy but I will help you. The same way you helped me. And I know they expect guys to be tough, but I am writing this to tell you that I love you, and I miss you.
You roll your eyes at me when I get emotional but I can see how proud you are of me. When good things happen for me. When I am successful. And it’s the same for me. As you create goals, surpass them, deal with obstacles and overcome them, I am inspired by you. You have kept a perspective that is sincere. Its real. It’s funny. I never knew I could laugh until I was physically in pain, but you showed me that too. You literally showed me how to be cool. I watched your moves. I watched how you spoke, I watched how you dressed. I loved the music you listened to and the way everyone seemed to like you. Everyone always thought you were way cooler, more fun and funnier than me.
But sometimes…you’d pick me. Instead of all those people who loved you, you would sit down and talk with me. Hang out. Ask me whats up with me. And those were the moments I treasure. The moments where we could sit and be humans. Just 2 people who saw the same things. Laughed together. And in the loneliest of moments when everything seems dark, even if we cannot be together in body, I want you to know that I am with you. Overcoming those challenges with you. And I know that you are here with me. Whispering words of encouragement, and saying ‘don’t worry about them, I believe in you.’ Giving one another the support that we didn’t even know was possible.
You are on stage looking out at the crowds of adults, elders and children. You are in the room with those engaged young people who say they have an idea that can help their community. You are with me when I talk about peer mentorship, and the importance of just giving a shit. In fact, you are with me right no, as I write down my words as I try to capture this moment. So I can do what you taught me real men are supposed to do: share my gifts with our family and our community.
Sometimes the world shits on us, but if we stand together we can do anything. You showed me how. Even if we do not talk everyday. Even if we don’t see each other all the time, we are stuck with each other. And that is one thing that makes me so grateful that we really are not alone. So ekosi for your example, and I hope that someday I can make you as proud as you have made me.