My Brother Frankie by Jackie Villarreal Najera

 My brother Frankie and I were close from the very beginning. He was three years younger than me. I can even remember the day he was born in our home. He was hyperactive and had to take medicine for that problem. He was even a sleep walker.  

He was calm with me though. As children, Frankie and I had many freckles. We used to play “Dot to Dot”  with them.  There were times when we tried to draw pictures with our freckles. Mom would try to remove our pictures because we always drew them with a pen.

One  day when Frankie was five years he walked across the street by himself. Mom asked me where Frankie was? We looked for Frankie all over the house. Frankie was no where to be found. The nieghborhood  store  sent a note telling us Frankie was there. I was sent there to bring Frankie home.  I lectured Frankie about  crossing street by himself. 

He responded”I know about watching for cars”

   The following day Ernest  asked my mother to let Frankie work at the store Ernest thought Frankie was cute and gave him a job. Frankie swept the floors at the store. I was very surprised because Frankie was too young to even  do things around our home.

   Ernest asked him, “What salary do you want?” Frankie then said he wanted Juicy Fruit Gum for his Mother.  Ernest then said that was fine but, he was also going to give all the broken cookies to him from the cookie barrel. There were a lot of broken cookies and  mother didn’t care, she had the broken cookies with her coffee.  

     Once Frankie was helping my dad paint the house. Frankie was sensitive to the paint. My father did have  the windows open, but Frankie started to react to the paint fumes. They rushed him to the hospital. The doctor said that because of his medication, he shouldn’t be around any strong odor.  I remember that he wasn’t actually helping dad paint. Dad had given Frankie a little brush just to keep him busy. 

   Frankie was always trying to help. As an adult Frankie was always buying me a lot of  things. A few years ago, he knew I liked antiques so he worked for a lady that instead of payment he said he preferred her antique dresser. She said he worked too hard just for the dresser. He said it was fine with him and that he just wanted the dresser. He gave me that dresser for my birthday.

Once I said to Frankie that my orange carpet was ugly. He immediately removed it and then said, “Now buy something you like.”

He was very generous with me.  When my dog died I couldn’t stop crying, so Frankie didn’t know what to do. He went to the store and bought me my favorite food then cooked it. I felt so bad that he was trying so hard to comfort me.

He then took me to the Orchard Supply Store and bought me things for my bathroom. He did all this so I would not cry about my dog. 

When I think about my brother who is no longer with me. I get really sad because I never really did anything for him.