Wednesday, May 4, 2011
My Brother, My Best Friend
I've seen the best and worst of you
But we're sticking through.
Cause without all of the ups and downs we've been through
You know that its true,
That I could get really sick and tired of you.
-Four Year Strong
Today is just one of those days where you wish the world would stop spinning. No matter how loud you scream, you want the world to just stop.
It takes days like today for me to realize just how fast this life is.
Today my little brother turns 18.
In the eyes of the law he is an adult.
I don't even really know where to start on this post... For those of you who do not know Cooper, 1st off shame on you, and 2nd, I'll do you courtesy of telling you about him.
Me and Cooper go way back, 18 years back to be exact(as Dr. Seuss might say).
Cooper is by far the coolest kid(now adult) that I know. He is smart, funny, uber talented and one of the most caring people you could ever meet. His introvert ways could lead you to think otherwise, but when you really break the exterior of Cooper Pemelton you see the amazing heart that he has been given. It has been quite a long time since I have blogged and a lot of things have been going on in my brothers life that some of you guys do not know about. One amazing thing that my brother has going on in his life right now is the fact that he is about to embark on a missions trip to Kenya, Africa. Yeah, I said it, the dark continent. In June, he will be boarding a plane and for a week be staying in the slums of Kenya, just to help in any way that he can.
I honestly couldn't be more proud of my brother.
Its honestly just amazing to think that my little brother, my best friend, has become the man he is today. Because anyone who knows Cooper, knows he had a rough start.
Before Cooper was born, my parents tried for months to settle on a name. A couple names passed through their heads like, Patrick, Alec, Nathaniel, all these before settling on Cooper. But the one name they should have picked during the first couple years of Coopers life.... is Damien.
Let's face it. Cooper was a little demon. I love sitting down and hearing the stories of Cooper as a kid, maybe because it makes me sound like an angel. haha. First off, Cooper was sent here on a mission, ask my mother. Cooper just flew out. There was no drawn out labor, no epidural. Nope, Cooper just was ready and just walked right out. The doctors were barely ready, they through on the gloves and then had to yell for my dad because he walked out of the room to make a phone call.(For any of you who know my dad, come on, that's funny. He's the same guy that stopped at mcdonalds while following my mom in an ambulance. Don't be alarmed she wasn't dying. She just was having her 5th kid. After 4 kids you're allowed to stop and get breakfast first.) But back to cooper! Cooper was just a sneeze and then he was there. It was actually quite similar to the birth in the movie Simon Birch, if any of you have seen that amazing film.
That day marked the birth of my best friend. From that day on I always had someone to play with. Cooper and I did everything together growing up. We'd play in our rooms for hours standing on our beds trying to keep our feet from the burning lava, that in reality, was just carpet. We'd stay up and trick our babysitters into thinking we were allowed to watch movies that weren't allowed to see, and then cringe when we saw all the parts that dad would always fast forward through in Jurassic Park. Our days were spent climbing trees, and using our imaginations. We didn't have these "video games" that kids spend their lives playing. We played outside till it got dark.
Those were the good ole days, and then something awful happened.
I turned 12 or 13.
I'm just gonna lay it out like it is. I was a complete jerk when I was 12. My search was to be "cool." Being one of the cool guys at school meant you had to be somewhat of a jerk and make smart ass comments all the time. I know what a lot of you are thinking, "He hasn't changed one bit, he's still a jerk." haha Yes, at times, I may be, and yes the smart aleck comments aren't going away any time soon. If they make you laugh, I'm gonna do it. But who I am today does not at all account for the jerk I was to my brother Cooper. I don't have any regrets in my life, except one. And I've already made my peace about that with my brother. I feel awful for the way I treated him during those couple of years between 12 and 14.
But then something awesome happened.
My head shrunk back down to normal size. I realized, again, that my brother Cooper was actually pretty awesome. It was probably around 14 or 15 when me and Cooper started to grow as close as we are today.
When I think of all the crap I did in high school and all the fun times, Cooper was there for most of those times. Cooper was always there. When my friends weren't there, Cooper always had my back.
After I graduated high school, a lot of things just fell away, which is normal, but not Coop. When my friends from high school kind of started to fizzle out, I turned to my brother. I can't tell you how many hundreds of times me and Cooper would just jump in my car and go. Normally we'd head to our favorite place on earth, MCKAY's USED MUSIC AND BOOKS, or the best eatery in Nashville, Checkers, or Sam's Kabob. It is one of the thing that I miss the most in my life right now...
As most of you know I moved to Florida back in August. The hardest thing for me was leaving my family. In retrospect nothing else caused me to second guess my decision, just my family. My family is a huge part of me, and that includes my brother Cooper. Not having my best friend here with me in Florida is so hard. Its hard not to have him here meeting my new friends, and experiencing all my new experiences... But that's a part of growing up. I hate it, HATE it, but it is.
I look at Cooper now, and I can't do anything but smile and feel such warmth in my chest. The guy has everything in the world going for him. As I've said, he's smart, he's funny, He's now a lead singer of a band that is about to start taking over Nashville's hardcore scene. He is a pretty awesome guy...
When trying to describe the love I have for Cooper there is a error. There is such a fallacy in the English translation of the word "Love." The best word I can use to describe the relationship I have with my brother is the Greek word, "Philia." Philia means friendship or brotherly love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity(Wikipedia Definition). Cooper meets all of those qualifications in the word Philia.
He has always been loyal, trustworthy and a good brother.
One of the things that has always terrified me is knowing that I cast somewhat of a shadow. I'm not conceited in saying that at all, I just know that I cast a bit of a shadow. Cooper, I hope you know that you are so far and above that shadow its not even funny. I hope you don't think that you have some expectation to live up to, because you've already surpassed that in all that you've done man. I wish in high school that I was just 1/5 as cool and as good of a person as you are. I know that you are going to go so far in your life and I am going to able to just sit back and watch it all unfold. Nothing excites me more than that thought. I can't wait to see all of your gifts and talents be put into play.
I thank God that He gave me such an amazing little brother...
I'll never forget all the amazing times and hard times we've had together...
I'll never let my relationship with my brothers ever fizzle out, but with Cooper... I don't think that's gonna be much of a challenge.
Cooper is my brother and my best friend.
I am so blessed to have been touched by such an awesome human being.
To be able to call that man a brother, is the biggest honor I have in my life.
And now he is 18.
He's a freaking man.
But he knows that
He has always been the man,
But I'm proud to say that he's not only that to me,
I have the honor and privilege of calling him my brother, and my best friend.
Love ya buddy.
Sad enough to say that
Alone I could barely light a match
But together we can burn this place down.
-Four Year Strong
Media Associated With This Post:
Song: Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
Artist: Four Year Strong
Album: Rise or Die Trying
Photo Credits to Bret Pemelton and Photo Credit to Anya Harding for the Top Photo.