Like so many other mothers across the country, I am a single mother.  In no way do I glorify that, and in no way is it easy.  However, the support I receive from my siblings would make it appear to be.

In honor of National Siblings Day, here are mine:

1.  Romel is my older brother by two years.  After our parents divorced, he became more of a father to the rest of us.  He has been our spiritual leader, our protector, and our friend.  At one point, I talked to him every morning.  As life took over, our conversations became less frequent.  But he is still one of my biggest supporters.  He and his wife, Quanedra, often keep Jireh for me when I have to work a late event or in the rare occasion that I choose to do something for myself.

2. Jared and I are 11 months apart, with me being older. He and I got into A LOT of mischief together when we were young (younger than 5). Life took us through various journeys that caused us to not be as close as we were before I started Kindergarten, but I can count on him for most of the things my man would normally do.  He offers his son to cut my grass.  If I need to move a large item, he offers his services and to use his truck if necessary. When Jireh needs a male figure at school or for any father-daughter event, Jared is always on standby, as our brothers Romel and Brandon both have daughters the same age.

3. Brandon is one year and three weeks younger than Jared.  Once he got old enough to get into trouble with Jared, they forgot all about poor me! They began doing everything together. As adults, Brandon and I had daughters just a few months apart. For a while, they were both only children. So, we did a lot together.  When I moved to Prattville, Brandon and his girlfriend, LaShonda, essentially became Jireh's guardians.  She stayed with them during the week and came home when I came home for the weekend.  LaShonda still picks Jireh up from school every day and braids her hair when I ask.

4. Aris is the baby of our family, but she is oddly the most maternal.  She is almost two years younger than Brandon.  If you're doing the math, within six years, all five of us were born. So, we're extremely close. After high school, Aris went to college for nursing.  When our mom was in her near fatal accident, Aris moved back home to help out.  Once our mom was stable, Aris then became the daycare provider for close family.  As more of us started having children, she took care of them while we worked.  Because of Aris and the help she's given each of us, our children have not only developed strong social skills by interacting with each other, but she also placed them on a great academic path.  Each of them have been named Leader of the Month at least once each school year.  Even now, Aris helps me with Jireh.  She picks her up from LaShonda each day and either takes her home or brings her to me at the radio station.  She also cooks and make sure we have something to eat, as I'm usually at work until 8pm.

As siblings, we each know each others' strengths and weaknesses; and we work with each other in our respective capacities.  We love each other, but that doesn't mean we never disagree with each other.  We disagree quite often and don't uphold each other when we're wrong, but we'd also never publicly disrespect each other.  Our mom didn't raise us that way.  She worked very hard to make sure we had everything we needed growing up, including love and respect for each other.  So, even though she worked a lot to provide for us, we knew what would and wouldn't be tolerated in our household to the degree that now that we all live separate lives, the foundation she laid remains; and we build upon it.

But today is not Mother's Day.  She'll get all of her accolades next month (in addition to the ones we regularly give). Today, is all about siblings!  I am so grateful for mine, and I don't know what I'd do without either one of them.  With God's grace, I won't have the answer to that anytime soon.