This morning I woke up with my heart in pieces remembering why it felt broken. Last night my younger brother, Tony had a seizure and died. He was 44. Although he did not believe it himself, I have to tell you why my brother was so amazing.
Tony went to Portugal, his first foreign trip, he found a clothing manufacturer and negotiated a large shipment; he did not speak Portuguese but this did not stop him. The first we knew was when my elder sister got a phone call from the British Embassy because he did not have enough money to pay his hotel bill. We said with surprise ‘how did he get there, he is only 17 years of age?’ Tony sold the clothing on market stalls and made a small fortune.
My beautiful brother had no fear; he faced so many challenges but was never down for long.
Later Tony had a licensed taxi business and over many years he fought and won a racism case against the City Council. The Council licensing department employed a manager who tried to put him out of business by not licensing taxis and creating unreasonable hurdles. He persisted eventually gaining the evidence that won his case; his partner said he never recovered from this gruelling experience, which dented his confidence. If you do not have the confidence in business then why would you expect others too?
I am sure my brother felt the fear, but he did it anyway. I loved his courage.
Tony’s only barrier to full potential was his lack of self-belief. I know like me you would say how can someone do these things and not have self-belief? You see Tony did not believe he could make millions because of his track record; I believed; he could, because of his track record. Tony saw what he did not do; I saw what he did do. I saw his greatness, he saw his failings.
Tony was full of endless ideas; he only saw solutions, not problems, and he found the quickest way to solve any problem. Tony was a nightmare to work with, but a force of beauty to watch and joy to be around. I admired his entrepreneurship and was in awe of his persistence; my sadness and deepest regret is that he did not see his own greatness.
As a child Tony was hyperactive and could not sit still for long. If you sat next to him, you would feel his energy and the amount of heat he gave off. I now know why he moved faster than anyone else; Tony burnt brighter and stronger and had so much to pack into a short life.
Oh, I wish he stayed longer, Tony has left such a gaping hole in my heart – I do not want to say goodbye.
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