Me, my brother and our two fathers.

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I have a little brother and we’re 12 years apart. If you’re curious why, here’s our story. Our family is quite interesting. My brother and I have two different fathers but were never an issue. We’re both different in hobbies, attitudes, talents, and charisma. People sometimes question if we’re even related.

It’s not common in our family to be affectionate but we find ways to express our love in different ways. My brother plays lawn tennis and whenever I can I watch his games. It makes me proud that at a very young age he already accomplished so much. Although we don’t have the same biological father, we don’t treat each other differently. Whatever I have is his and everything I do is for us.

No widow or child should be left empty-handed.

My mother is a teacher and my father was a tricycle driver. I was the only child for a long time and I always wanted to have a sibling. When my father died I was only 10 and it was devastating. I will never forget the day when I arrived at the hospital and my mom was crying telling me my father is gone.

A few years passed and my mother remarried, then gave birth to my little brother “Jan-Jan”. I could still remember after school when I arrived at the hospital seeing this adorable baby. I was super excited to finally have a new addition to our family. I thanked God for bringing this bundle of joy. I could still remember growing up I will take care of him, change his diaper, make him milk and wash his baby bottles.

It seems like fate is playful. In just a couple of years, my stepfather died in an accident. At that time I was so confused. Why is this happening in our family? I asked God: do we deserve to be unhappy? During that time, I was too young and helpless. I don’t know how will I comfort my mother. I couldn’t imagine the agony and pain she was going through. But she was strong and made ends meet. She worked hard for us and gave her all.

Both incidents in our life were stressful. Losing a loved one is hard but losing twice is more difficult. If only we had additional help back then, my mom would have it easier moving forward. The sacrifices she made was unbelievable.  She had bills to pay, children to feed and send to school but she made it strong.

When I started working I promised myself to provide a bright future for my family. I worked a couple of jobs just to secure my brother’s needs and help my mom in any way I can. And now that I’m a financial advisor, it is my advocacy to save families not only my own, so that no widow or child be left empty-handed.