Though he’s almost a doctor,

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 28, 2000

he’s still my ‘baby brother’

This time of year in 1976 I was awaiting a special event ­ the birth of my brother.

Ever since the Christmas before ­ when I asked Santa to bring my a baby brother ­ I knew my mother was going to bring home a boy. As a matter of fact, when she told me it might be a baby sister, I was adamant and told her she could "take it back" if it was because I wanted a brother.

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Well, my determination, a little help from genes and God gave me just what I wanted and I’ve never regretted asking for him.

Jimmy and I are almost four years apart in age. Unlike our friends, we never had those knockdown drag out fights the neighborhood children had with their brothers and sisters. Sure, we picked on each other, but we never fought.

To this day, we remain close although out schedules don’t allow us to see or talk to each other often.

Last weekend, my baby brother ­ who is taller than I am ­ came for a brief visit.

He was able to pull away from his medical textbooks to come visit his sister.

My words are inadequate when it comes to describing how proud of him I am.

I think back to all the things he’s accomplished over the years and smile.

When he won the Mobile County Spelling Bee, I was proud. When he won almost every academic award in middle school and high school, I said, "That’s my brother."

When he stood before hundreds and gave his valedictorian’s address, I laughed at his humor and glowed with pride.

Four years later I cheered for him when he graduated from the University of South Alabama with honors.

In a few weeks, I’ll again be watching my baby brother reach yet another milestone. On May 7, James Randall Lakey will get the white lab coat he’s worked so hard for. All those missed conversations and visits have not been for naught.

I imagine this is really just the beginning because his time in the hospital will increase and Though he’s almost a doctor, he’s still my ‘baby brother’his hours will become erratic.

But, that’s all right because he’s more than just my brother, he’s about to be a doctor and many people will lean on him for comfort and help. And, he’ll be there because that’s the kind of guy he is.

He’s humble (and will likely want to strangle me when he hears about this column). He’s caring and competent. Most importantly, he’s my brother.

Beth Lakey is a staff writer for The Messenger. She may reached via e-mail at or by calling 670-6317.

March 27, 2000 10 PM  

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