There.

Last Friday was a year since you last spoke to me.

Four days later, I got a card in the mail. There was no return address, which I found a little odd, but the handwriting was simple and friendly, so I opened it. My mind scanned to the bottom of a written page. It was from your mom.

I quickly shut the card and shoved it back in the envelope. Not now. I told myself, You’re at work and you’ve got to get this task done. I knew if I just jumped in and read it, I’d be crying in the office. Which, you know, is not a preferred method.

I read it later. I read it quickly and then shut it again. Her handwriting is flowy and hard to read. The only parts I remember were that she’s apparently on your no-contact list too, that she’s praying for you, and that she’s also praying for me.

You screwed up, man. You really did. Kick me out of your life? Fine. I’ll back away and give you space and cry somewhere where you can’t see me. But your mom?? Dude. Come on. It’s your mom.

I’m sitting here reflecting on your relationship with your mom, the one I witnessed for nine years, and I’m only coming to one conclusion: You must be confused and in a hell of a lot of pain right now. I’m so sorry. Sincerely, from the deepest parts of me, I am so sorry you’re facing so much pain right now.

Brother, know this. Know that I am in pain because you left me behind and, when or if you regret that decision and seek my friendship, know that we will have to work through that and it probably won’t be pleasant.

But also know that, when you need me, I will do my best to first and foremost be there for you. I know you’re hurting and really struggling right now and, as soon as you need me, I’ll be there in whatever way I can. I will do my very best to support you and stand next to you as your life seems to go up in flames.

You’re my brother, kid. I might be mad at you and, yes, you’ve hurt me very deeply. But if you call me, I’ll be there. Even if you wouldn’t do the same for me. You still have my number. And, apparently, your mom has my address. So if and when you need me, don’t be afraid to reach out.

-Melissa

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