Saturday, July 25, 2020

Our Brothers' Keepers...    by    Rory Andes

She gets the call about her brother and her soul sinks and her heart breaks at the idea that this person so precious to her is having everything in his life crumble. Before she knows it, she has to give this beautiful man away to a world she can't imagine. "Just keep him safe," she asks...

Off he goes to pay a price. The pain of leaving everyone behind hurts beyond words. The pain of knowing he's responsible for that is even worse. As bleak as his future seems, he hopes she still loves him. "Let her always be my big sister," he asks...

Marshall has spent every birthday for over a decade without the celebrations of his big sister and this year, this July, will be the last time he has to. But this time away hasn't been without benefit. I and so many others have gained a brother in return. As Marshall has reclaimed his life, he's shown me how to reclaim mine, also. In return, I give him Nutty Buddy bars and make him laugh. He's given the very best of himself to positively influence the world around him and I'm glad to have reaped the rewards of this brotherhood. This birthday is a celebration of all he's given in here, the friends he's made, the humanity he's instilled and the brother I've trusted with my life. Because it's his last here, his big sister gets the future, his future, their futures, all the remaining next times. A loving handoff...

I can't thank his family enough for creating someone so impactful. I can't thank his sister enough for allowing me to benefit by meeting her brother in a place she feared so long ago. We all are our brothers' keepers, both in prison and out. Those inside are a part of the most private of fraternities waiting to return to the siblings that had to let us go. However, every person should be as lucky as us. I'm so glad he can return to her so much better, happier, and healthier than ever. Her continued love has been a source of inspiration. Happy Birthday, Marshall. May you have so many more in your extraordinary future and we love you...

by Rory Andes


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