I won the sibling lottery being born into a family with two older brothers. I was the baby girl: cute,  bossy,  opinionated, and I had my two minions err brothers supporting me. My brothers had a permanent shadow for a baby sister. I had to do everything they did. I would make them let me take a turn reading books when I couldn’t even read. 

Better than anything when I got in trouble whether it was starting a fight I couldn’t finish or getting suspended from school I called on my brother Lam. He is the oldest and incredibly pragmatic. He was ultimately responsible for his two younger siblings bearing the brunt of our bad decisions as to assist our overworked divorced mom.


There are so many times he has come to my aid. While my brother was born to be a Leatherneck and fits the bill well he has a softer side for his sisters that many rarely see. Last night I was talking to my mom about a situation I have been stressing over and she told me to wait it out but call my brother if it didn’t work. As a grown adult I have asked him for help only a few times and it was over things like car repair or buying a new washing machine. I didn’t think Lam would even help in this instance but she reminded me of the following story and his softer side.

When I was in college we had this huge formal night called Black Ball. I looked forward to this event all semester; shopping for the right dress,  picking out my color scheme,  surfing through magazines for hair style ideas; it was all my friends and I talked about.

Everything was set until one week before the ball when I broke up with my shady ass boyfriend. In truth I should have dumped him long before but I thought we could make it at least through the end of the semester. Anyway it was a week before the ball and everyone I knew had a date. My homegirls were calling their cousins or brothers to see who was available because there was no way I was going alone,  but we came up with no one.

My brother then was living in the Bay area a good two-hour drive from me but I called him and told him what happened. I’m pretty sure he chastised me for keeping that jerk boyfriend around so long and then asked me the color of my dress. The next Saturday he showed up sharp in a tux our chariot his ink blue Camaro with chrome wheels shining in the moonlight. We were clean.

He escorted me to the ball where we laughed,  drank,  danced and had a a good time. The night went really well until my brother hit on one of my friends at the bar. She came to me mortified that my “date” would hit on her. I let the truth fly and told my friends that my “date” was really my older brother.  We laughed and partied away.

Just a reminder that my brother will always be there for me whether it’s fixing your bike chain,  forging your parent’s signature on a permission slip,  paying for a new washing machine,  or standing in the gap when plans fall through. Thanks Lam for being there for me to run to when my problems seem too big,  you are a great brother.