Joey

My brother had wheels. I can still hear the way the tires sounded as he slowed to a stop; rubber on cement, creating a smooth whirring  as his hands glided against the worn material, bringing himself to a stop. My legs were made of flesh, and functioned as normal legs do. I understood that his legs were wheels, and functioned as wheels normally do. From Bike Rodeos where Joey  deftly maneuvered around orange traffic cones set up in school parking lots, to “marching” in parades as he played his clarinet, he trucked on as anyone would, just with a little extra help. If he could do anything, so could I. Growing up with my older brother having Spina Bifida melded all impossibilities together, and threw them to the curb. Accomplishments were always obtainable, trophies and  awards within reach. I looked up to him as someone who was capable of anything thrown at him, and in turn, I’ve become the same way. As an adult, I now recognize how difficult life must have been for him. How every curb may as well have been a  mountain, and how exhausting it must have been to just exist at times, but onward and upwards, he persevered. My brother taught me perseverance, determination, and resolution. It is because of him that I know how to roll with the punches, and when to go down swinging. He went down swinging. Everyday I feel his strength within me, passed onto me through some astral vein, shooting down from the heavens, beyond galaxies, and straight into my heart. These daily lessons give me the strength I need in my life to keep going, and to understand that even if that curb seems like a mountain, we can always find a way around.