Did you know I have a brother? I do. He’s four years younger than me. I don’t write about him because (a) he’s VERY private, and (b) I don’t get to see him very often. He’s really cool. He plays the guitar and paints and reads and fixes anything that is electronic and before he left Houston he hooked up everything in my house.
After I had the kids he moved to Oklahoma to be closer to my dad. He’s been gone three years now. I forget how sad I am about that fact until I see him. Well, this weekend I flew to Oklahoma with my sweet eldest to see my dad. (Some of you asked how he got picked – I’ve had three mommy-daughter weekends with the little lady and I had four days with the baby in the hospital but NO solo time this year with the eldest.) My dad is having some health problems and is about to be admitted to the hospital for a bit to see if the doctors can fix him up, and so we wanted to see him before he was admitted.
The visit was short but good. I loved seeing my dad and his wife. I loved hanging out with the eldest. I’ve always said he’s more of a loner and more reserved but that is NOT true. He’s only like that when he’s with the others. He walked so proudly with his Mickey hat pulling his Lightening McQueen suitcase through the airport and talked to everyone. He introduced himself, beamed at the compliments, and asked strangers their names. He was a maniac at my dad’s house and was the most outgoing demonstrative little person I’ve ever seen! Who knew???
But my favorite thing about the whole weekend was staying up late Friday night with my immensely cool brother. I’ve always said we were close in the sense we can always tell each other stuff, but we’re not close in the sense that we don’t talk or see each other all the time. The last few times I got to see him I was with Bray and the triplets, so there was not a lot of time to just hang out with my brother. But Friday night, we got to talk for two and a half hours while everyone slept. He had his beer (or two) and I had my glass of wine (or two) and we covered the entire spectrum of life. His job, my job. His friends, my friends. His living situation, my living situation. Aspirations, disappointments, frustrations, things that make us laugh. I forgot to mention he’s hysterical. I mean crack you up constantly funny guy. And his best quality, out of all those cool ones, is that he is completely non-judgmental. I don’t think I could say something, anything, that he would chastise me for or make me feel bad about. I fully confess I have not always reciprocated that gift. I appreciated it immeasurably Friday night. There are several things lately that I have guilted myself over or someone else had made me feel guilty about. He just swats that away with a wave of his hand.
There’s something about becoming adult siblings. It may take your twenties to work through whatever weird issues you had with each other as kids, but when you’re in your thirties you can just be friends. And he’s so radically different from my “chosen” friends, that he brings the added benefit of a perspective that my similarly situated friends cannot offer. Plus, he knows my skeletons. And I know his. And because you’re blood, none of it matters.
While that late night visit was completely unexpected, it was the highlight of my weekend – heck of my month. But it sure did make me miss him. I want my kids to know what an incredibly cool uncle they have. And I couldn’t be more grateful that they will have someone with no judgment loving on them. It is an enormous gift.
Angie Fox says
I lost my brother unexpectedly at age 40 in March of 2012. Reading about you and your brother makes me miss mine sooo much. Cherish those moments and even your differences!!!
Angie – I am so sorry to hear, I can’t imagine. I’m turning 40 this year and I couldn’t even think about life without my brother. Thank you for sharing – your story certainly reminds me even more acutely how grateful I am.