This is entry No. 5 from the Tributes series, Father’s Day Edition.
It is 7:00 PM on Father’s Day. We’ve had a nice day celebrating as a family. Now, Juan is taking a nap and the kids are hanging out at the coffee shop, and all I’m burdened to do is write about this incredible man: my little brother.
As children, we were very distinct and independent. We enjoyed different things; we processed information differently; we dealt with life issues differently. We were not the closest of siblings, but were not indifferent to each other either. I loved playing my guitar and singing, while he spent hours on end flying pretend airplanes. I stayed indoors and played board games by myself while he preferred riding his bike with his friends. We grew apart during our teenage years, especially as I moved out of our home, came to the States, and enrolled in college. Not too long after that I was a married woman while he was in high school, and our priorities and paths of life looked drastically different. But I loved him deeply and he loved me.
I am so delighted to see the adult my brother has become. My heart beams with pride, for he is truly an amazing person. When we moved to the United States (he came a year after I did), we had nothing. My parents had lost their business and we had no possessions or money. My brother arrived in Florida knowing very little English and signed up in a public high school. It was a sink or swim type of situation. And he swam. He really, really swam. He got a job as a busboy and later became a very good server. He waited tables while attending college. He worked hard, saved money, and became very business savvy. He graduated, bought a house, got married, and had beautiful babies. He is now a very successful executive and works extremely hard for the good of his family. He is determined, hard-working, ambitious, and steadfast. I admire these qualities in him.
My brother loves his family. He is a committed husband and father, not only wishing their well being, but working hard to attain it. He values time with them, he knows their struggles, he helps them the best way he can, and he would unreservedly lay down his life for his wife and his kids, if necessary. Carla is an amazing woman and his children are fabulous humans; a testament to the love and dedication he has for them. He is also a good, faithful, and fun-loving friend. He continues friendships he started when he was a child, and his friends know they can count on him if they need him.
Peter is the most competitive person I know. He hates to lose. I am competitive as well, so our card or board games can get pretty heated and often times highly entertaining. But aside from the desire to win in trivial activities, my brother possesses an un-quenching desire to do things well and fully. He likes to live life to the fullest and with no regrets.
I love my brother and I know he loves me. If and when I’m in trouble, I want him by my side, because he has my back. Even though our lives have looked and felt very differently for many years, I know that age, experiences, and relationships have unified our priorities and goals in life. Despite our heated games and conversations (which we are learning to laugh at more and more), the truth is that I love spending time with him and his beautiful family. The single, hardest part, for me, about moving to VA, has been missing spending time with him and the Vargas clan.
Thank you, God, for giving me my brother. It is truly a gift from you.