Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Brother...

On April 3, 1973, a baby boy was born. He was the youngest of several children to Samoan parents who lived in San Diego, California. When he was only three months old and in true Samoan fashion, his great-aunt and uncle took him to American Samoa to live with his extended family. He lived by another name for many years. He was part of the family. He was the younger brother who loved to play outside, climb trees, throw rocks at the neighbor's kids, and laugh with the best of them. Even when people questioned whether he was a real sibling, the answer was always the same. Of course he's our brother! Even when he found out he was adopted and met his real siblings, he was still part of our family. He was still our brother. We were all with him when he passed away; ALL of his brothers and sisters. Whether physically or over the phone, we were all able to say our goodbyes, tell him how much we loved him and how much we would miss him, and hold onto him until the end. He will always be remembered as the hero who wanted to keep everyone safe, the teddy bear uncle who loved and spoiled all of the nieces and nephews, the brother who always made sure everyone was okay, the son who called in the middle of the night just to say HI. We will always miss him. His smile, his laugh, his stories. His memory lives on. RIP, Lino!

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