6:30 AM, March 21, 2001- I am six. My older brother Armando is leaving for Hawaii. It seemed to be the longest day of my life. Armando was never the best behaved child in my destitute neighborhood, Washington Heights. He was involved in gang activity, and had encountered the cops more than a few times. My mother sent him to Hawaii, where her sister lived, because she thought he could start fresh there and stay away from the “thugs” here in Washington Heights. The day he left for Hawaii was the last day I saw him for five years. I believe in hope and patience.
I was in first grade at the time and on that day, I came in crying. Despite that my brother got in trouble in the streets and mistreated me I still loved him and was going to miss him dearly. My older sister told me to suck it up, he wasn’t all that special anyways. I soon learned she missed him too, but she gotten into a fight with him right before that so she acted as if she didn’t care. That day I got home, I waited for the phone and hoped it was going to be Armando. It finally rang and I raced to answer it. It was Armando on the other line. “Hi, Mondo, how was your flight?” I whispered. “Yeah, can I speak to Ma?” he said back, ignoring my question. I gave it to my mother and stood there waiting for her to get off. When she did, I said if I could talk to my brother. “No sweetie, he had to go unpack” she said. Great, I thought, I can’t even talk to him, and all I hoped for that whole week was just to talk to him.
After weeks, months, and years of waiting patiently for a letter or a phone call that would let me no he cared about me I knew he would not send a letter. Now, I have stopped sending him letters; however, if he was to call me tomorrow and have a meaningful conversation with me, I would still hope for his next call. I guess I will never give up on hope and patience because it helped me deal with my suffering of a missing brother. Aside from seeing him once in 2006 and then again in 2007 we still have not really spoken or written. I didn’t see him till 2006, and at the time of a continued growing up process I really needed something to let me know he loved me and wanted me as a little sister, and today, I do have letters that have gone answered. I still want one letter, but I know its not coming, but at the time hope and patience was all I had.