My life is a great tale of many fantastic journeys filled with wonderful memories of a very loving and wise Mother, 2 elder sisters, and 5 of the most fantastic brothers a younger sister could ask for. My brothers steered me in the right direction in life in so many areas of learning; from learning to swim, tie my shoes, to riding a bike and more importantly....how to deal with men, how to love a man, and how to allow men champion a woman to becoming her greatest self. My brothers always felt it was their responsibility to keep their the females in our family safe. We always felt safe having our brothers around. Everyone knew we had the best brothers in the neighborhood. They worked and went to school. They had mad respect for Mother, and they respected their sister, all the elderly women in our family and they bounded with the men of the family. I particularly loved..seeing my brothers with our uncles, cousins and other relatives, "talking men talk". Uncles would always admonish brothers, "take good care of your women folk" "Women, depend on and need the men in their family to look out for them"!. These talks must have stayed with our brothers, because they always did just that. Even when our eldest brother moved away from home, he would come by often to check on us, and see what mother needed. I have never heard my mother complaint about any of my brothers, and I can remember them always bringing a smile to her face.- Now that Mother is no longer with us, I understand what that smile was about- "My mom, was so very proud of her sons. That was the look of a very proud mother and a very happy woman. No we did not have a father in the home, at least not during my time growing up. My grandfather had passed on, and the dad of the family passed on. Being the baby sister, my brothers always let me know that I was special, smart and beautiful. My Mother, always encouraged me, to strive for excellence. She instilled great values in all of her 8 children. We all knew the importance of an earnest dollar. Everyone of her children cherished the values of a good education - (even the ones that did not finish high school went on to earn their GED and go on to higher academic accomplishments). I love this most importantly, that Mother helped her children to understand what it menas to give bak to the neighborhood, because she would take in homeless people from the neighborhood, and housed htem until they found jobs and could get back on their feet- Mother always fixed extra food, her reason; "You just never know who God is going to send by for dinner, who hasn't had a decent meal"! and the fat that mother always took us to church (especially the girls) but she also took us to the nursing home to learn to serve the elderly in spiritual ways- We would sing to them, brush their hair, and run errands for them- They were always glad to see us when we came. Mother knew she could never teach her sons about being a man, so she always kept very positive role models around (uncles, cousins, relatives, grandparent siblings, godsons, godbrothers,etc), and she would always tell each of us - "BEING A RESPONSIBLE PERSON MAKES YOU A RESPONSIBLE ADULT, MALE OR FEMALE!". My brothers are always my heros. They have never failed me in the area of being respectful, kind, considerate, caring and nurturing. They lead with compassion. After I became a young woman, once I got very ill, I can remember my brother coming to my home to cook and clean for me. Also once when my daughter got very ill, it was my brothers that called me and encouraged me to know "God had plans for my daughter, and not to give up hope"!. When I would be struggling financially, my brothers always, always came to see about me, sometimes I would wonder.., "how they knew" because I never tell about my financial struggles - from this I learned that 'FAMILY BONDS=LOVE UNFEIGNED, which translates into, "You may not tell your family what you are going through, but somehow, they know"!....I think it's God who tells them to check on you. My encouragement to women everywhere, is listen to your brothers about men- They will tell you the truth, because they are men, and they know men inside and out. You can't have better teachers, instructors than your brothers. They listen well, they will never reveal the secrets you tell them, and they have your best interest at heart. Your brother, will keep you from a many heart-aches as a young woman or any woman...if you just listen and pay attention to what they can teach you. Brothers give the best advice I have ever received. My brothers, taught me how to think like a man, while being a man (I knew these lessons, before Steve Harvey wrote the book, thanks to my brothers) because....I listened to my brothers. My brothers are my very first male role models, from them, I learned how to know when I was in the presence of a respectable male, and how to handle myself always with men. Such as being courteous, because "men, always give you back, what you give them" and if one doesn't, get away from that man, as fast as you can, because he is not a man, he is grown-up but has much to learn. My brothers made great father figures- because they genuinely cared. I am certain there are plenty of women struggling to understand the roles men play in our lives, I invite you to "adopt a brother" for mentorship and learning if you do not have a brother of your own. Men are not shy about giving the best advice to women- They are really our protectors if we women, will allow them.
Shar McCoy is the author of THE TRUE ART OF SISTERHOOD and attended Loyola University Chicago as an honor student with her degree in Mass Media Communications & Marketing Management. She furthered her career by attending AIU (American InterContinental University Georgia) and also studied for the NASE (National Association Securities Exchange) Worked in Financial Analysis, Worked as an educator/case manager in the public school system. She has written programs that assisted students in learning and behaviors accolades. She has worked as a Dean Of Students for Linda C. Shearrill Bible College and Seminary. She is invited often to lecture on women topics as well as men topics for all men groups, retreats, conferences, church and charitable organizations as well as for children and teens. She loves people and she knows that life is purposeful but we must include the passion within our lives, to fulfill our purpose! - I Live, Love, & Laugh with purpose!