My mother died when I was three. I don't remember much about her.
But I do remember, when she was very sick at the hospital, she said to me:
'Never let a man steal your life.'
We just sit here and watch everything.
"What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen?"
Nothing too weird. We go inside before the sun goes down.
"What's your favorite thing about your brother?"
He does all the work.
My happiest moments were when my mom was still alive.
"What's your fondest memory of your mother?"
One time when I was six years old, we went to pick up my father at the airport.
On the way, my mother explained to me the concept of boarding a plane and taking a trip.
And then while we waited for my father, we sat in a nearby restaurant, and we planned out all the imaginary trips that I wanted to go on.
I first learned that I was crippled when I was eight. We played a game in the yard where we would race and do somersaults. When even the youngest kids beat me, I knew I had a problem.
Then when it was time to go to school, I was the only one who couldn't go, because it was a very far walk.
"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
When I turned twenty, I had this moment where I realized that I hadn't been able to get any education. And suddenly I knew that I'd probably never have a family.
I was about to leave for work the other day, so I stopped in her room to wake her up.
And the first thing she said was: 'Dad, I need a surprise.'
I said: 'You need a what?'
She said: 'I need a surprise.'
So I ran to the store and got her a doll, brought it to her, and went to work.
Her father and brother died in the same month. She developed a very bad problem in her head after that.
For months, she would barely move. I was so worried about her that I took her to hospitals, and nothing worked. It was the hardest time of my life.
But now she is better. She's the greatest wife. Every time I come home, she makes me tea and thanks me for working all day.
"How did she fix her sadness?" None of the hospitals could help. But we just kept praying together.
She shares her yogurt with me.
He's only five years old, but he acts like an old man.
Just now, he was telling us that he was tired of our immature jokes.
He doesn't even like to play.
After school, he usually comes straight home and reads.
Sometimes, in busier neighborhoods, a crowd begins to gather when I conduct my interviews. In this case, it was a particularly large crowd of 15 or 20 people.
As the man recounted his happiest moment, the crowd laughed along with him. He told about a wild night out with his friends, and the crowd shouted encouragements. Some people were patting him on the back.
Then the interview turned to sadder moments. And he began to talk about the death of his mother. Tears began streaming down his face.
And seeing this, the crowd respectfully disappeared.
Do you want to hear a funny story from when he was a baby?
We were a little worried about him, because the neighbor's children were the same age, and they were already walking.
So we tried to encourage him by buying some tiny shoes and putting them on his feet.
He didn't walk, but he did say his first words: 'Take them off!'
She likes to read, so I take her to the library for 2 hours every day.
We mainly read books about animals.
[Photos and stories borrowed from Humans of New York facebook page.
You may also want to view Brandon's blog.]