For those of you who don't know Treyon Haynes, my little brother, was born on this day in 1995. He would have been 20 years old. Trey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of stomach cancer, when he was only five. For two years my mom and Trey traveled back and forth to St. Jude in Memphis getting Trey treatment, but in July of 2002 the Lord saw that he was tired and called Trey home. Every year I try to take a moment to remember him and the joy he brought in his short life, but today I want to take it a step further. A few years ago I wrote this piece to help me to cope, and today I want to share it with you guys.
Do You Remember?
Conversation Between Two Brothers
Do you remember, when you were just a newborn, a brand new baby?
Another bouncing baby boy, one would bring change and love we never thought could be?
Wait a minute, what am I saying, of course you don’t remember that…
You WERE just a baby after all, how could you remember that far back?
Well let me tell you, those were the times, ones I’ll never forget.
I remember all the talks of being big brother, and what all that meant.
“Watch him,” “Protect him,” “Take care of him,” those were the lessons I was told.
I remember dreading you growing up, I wanted you to jump straight from young to old.
But they were right, it was good for me to learn and do those things.
Because you never know, until they’re gone, just how much they mean.
Do you remember when you got older, on your first day of school?
I remember you acting tough and trying to play it cool.
But of course I knew the truth, you were nervous, but it was ok.
Just like I told you way back then, “Sometimes we all feel that way.”
I was hiding something too, something I didn’t want you to know.
It seems so very stupid now, but I didn’t want you to go.
Now hold on, before you get mad, let me tell you why.
It had really nothing to do with you, it was about me, and my pride.
I didn’t think I was ready to step up, and do what big brothers do.
I thought that I would fail, and I couldn’t do that, not in front of you.
So I swallowed my pride and stepped it up, I would do what I had to.
I would be the best big bro I could be, and show you what I could do.
Do you remember Mom’s daycare? O, the fun we had!
Playing games with friends all day, running around and trying not to wake Dad.
All those kids, all those friends; we really had it good, you know.
I learned later that not everyone had that much fun, or that many friends to show.
But even with all of them around, we were always together.
Always doing something together, like two birds of a feather.
We were kings around that place, and I always let them know
that if you messed with him you mess with me “Why? ‘Cuz I’m his big bro!”
Do you remember, when you got sick, and no one knew why?
And we finally found out why…it was rough…I can still see them cry…
But we came up with a way to fix it, a way to make it right.
Dad and I would stay at home; while you and Mom went to fight-
Fight off the disease, get rid of it all. You’d be well, you’d see.
But oh, you brave little solider you, that way was just not meant to be.
That day…I’ll never be able to forget…it still doesn’t seem quite real…
No words will ever be able to express all the emotions that I feel…
Do you remember, the day you left us for that Great Beyond?
The day you won your war, and told this world “So Long,”
It was very hard to let you go, but I knew it was for the best;
‘Cuz if we tried to keep you here, you’d be miserable like all the rest.
No way I would want it that way, not now and not ever.
I’d rather it have been over then, than to watch you suffer forever.
Do you see me sitting here at your head; do you hear me up there?
I hate having to talk to you like this, but I know we have to start somewhere.
You may be the one watching me now, but I still have a job to do.
I can’t protect your body anymore, but I can protect the memory of you.
I’ll make sure that as long as I live, no one will EVER forget-
how much you mean to all of us, and you’re the best lil bro yet.
So you see, big bro’s still looking out for you, like I always will.
I’m just doing it in a different way; and I admit, this one feels more real.
I’m watching out for something much more important, something that can’t be replaced-
I’m taking care of our times together, brother, something that can never be erased.
So don’t worry, have fun, you’ve earned yourself a restful stay.
Your big bro’s got you covered; I’ll always love and remember you, Trey.
It is because of Trey that I have so much respect for St. Jude and that I applaud anyone who does cancer research, and that I always try to find ways to donate to both of them. It's funny how the "big brother" is so influenced by the "little brother", but that is definitely what has happened. I encourage everyone who reads this to not only join me in supporting cancer research and the people who work to make people with it's lives easier, but also to value your time with your loved ones. Treasure those memories, because you never know when they will end. Love you little bro!