My Brother’s Surprise…

We live in a very material world, and it’s a world where we sometimes calculate how much someone loves us by how much money they spend on us.

It’s a sad reality, but it is the truth.

Money makes the world go round.

There is someone really special to me, and he is my brother. Not in any biological connection but he is family and I would do anything for him.

I have been friends with Byron since about Grade 10, which makes it 9 years. We joke that it’s both of our longest relationships ever, but it’s true. (I can’t even get a relationship to 5 months, never mind a year… but I digress).

He has always been there for me no matter what, he was always just accepting of me regardless of whatever else was going on.

I was also so lucky that his parents were very accepting of our friendship and welcomed me into their home. I have been through a lot with his family and I am glad to have had them be there for me when things were rough.

Byron’s Brother Caleb

It’s been 9 years of ups and downs, good times and bad, and stories that will last us a lifetime.

We don’t see each other often and we don’t spend as much time together when he is around, but we have a bond that will always connect us. It’s what makes him my brother.

Last year October time, I decided that I wanted to say thank you to him with a gift, but I wanted it to be something worth more than just something I bought. So I happened to receive a picture frame and suddenly I had the idea of having it filled with memories and giving it to him.

 It took a while for me to finalise the whole thing because it was just an idea and in between all that life was happening. He was living his life that side at his lodge being a game ranger, while I was living mine being a journalist.

I then roped in the help of our friend Chelsea who I am also pretty grateful for, and she was so awesome because without her help I would not have been able to making the picture frame as great as it turned out.

I had planned to have given the gift to him as a Christmas present but because his parents were travelling to Namibia, he decided he would not come down to Cape Town during his week off and so then it just gave me more time to get it sorted.

I contacted his girlfriend around Christmas asking for her help with a few pictures, which was interesting because I had never even met or spoken to the girl before sending that message, but I had heard about her often enough for her to not feel like a total stranger.

She had managed to get pictures of him, without him realising the greater purpose behind it, and sent them to me.

So all the pictures had been chosen and Chelsea was too awesome because she came through and had it finished in time for his next off week.

Then came the issue of finding the time to give it to him.

What usually happens when Byron is in Cape Town on his off week, is that he is busy because all his friends and family all want to see him in some way, but there’s not enough time for him to see everyone.

I had thought it was going to happen over the weekend but he had other plans so it wasn’t going to happen then, I had message my friend Chelsea even saying that if he pops around, give it to him because he is so busy and I am barely seeing him, but please just record it and take pictures.

She was like, “No way am I giving him this thing without you being here, fool.”

So she messaged him, and said something along the lines of “there is no way we are hanging out without Theo”, or something a little more tactful, but in any case she got it done. Haha. If there is anything I learned from this, it was that don’t underestimate the power of Chelsea.

So then along came Monday, got home from work, he called, picked me up and off to Chelsea we went to hang out.

Chelsea got us in, and showed me where it was without Byron realising. I had brought along a bow and wanted to stick onto the frame. I had to fake going to the bathroom just so I could get into her room to attach the bow.

After that, I walked out of her room with the frame in my hand anxiously waiting to give it to him. Byron was playing a game on my phone, and when I was standing there awkwardly waiting for his attention, he was all “Wait, I am playing this game”.

I just rolled my eyes and started talking:

I must say that the reaction I got from him was more than what I had hoped. It made me sooo damn happy seeing how much the gift meant to him. As rewarding as it is giving someone something, that tight arm crushing hug, and the total surprise had told me that I had done the right thing.

He loved it.

What I love about our friendship is that we say “I love you” to each other… and we do. I love him because he is family to me. No matter what, he will always be family. He is my brother.

We have both changed so much over the years and become such different people, each living our own lives. He has a life of his own away from me, and as much as I miss him, it makes me happy knowing that he is doing his own thing and enjoying it.

All I want for him is to be happy, and he is.

Also, if I got started on how awesome our friend Chelsea is then I would not end but I just wanted to give her a shout-out for her helping me and being a radically cool person.

The night I gave him the gift, we had spent the rest of the time in Chelsea’s home just hanging out and spending time. It is such moments with friends I will always cherish.

Earlier last week, after him having been without wifi and signal, he finally got back in contact with us, and I got around to asking him if he had hung up the picture frame.

Of course, I received a snarky response from him, but he showed me that it did go up.

It is hung

To my brother Byron – I hope that if you are reading this (you better be), you realise that I do really love you. I am so lucky to have someone like you in my life…you fool.

Stay awesome.


Theo. Over and Out.

PS – Your squeamishness whenever I bring up something sexually gay will forever amuse me. *chuckles*

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