Birthday Tears: The Brother/Sister Bond

???????????????????????????????????????????Having siblings clearly has a direct influence on who I am. Growing up the youngest of all boys, I learned how to be tough. You can’t cry if you’re going to ride bikes around the neighborhood . . . And you can’t cry if he doesn’t let you go. You also get used to your own company because as a “girl” you can’t do everything your brother does…although he’s only 15 months older than you.

… And we all know in boy/girl development that pretty much makes me older! haha

In all seriousness, I have 1 “full” brother and 4 half brothers. We are all family. No distinction.

Brother N and I are the closest in age and were extremely close as kids and pre-teens. I guess this is why it’s so difficult for me to see the state of our current relationship. Raised as a true middle child, he has the traits science says he should: Charming and outgoing, very close to his friends and gets along with people very well. I remember we shared a room when I was in kindergarten & he was in 1st grade and had this thing we did to see if the other person was asleep:

N: “Green?” –Hmph? “Oh.” Then I would return the favor: Green: “N?” –Hmph? “Oh.” Then maybe a conversation would ensue or maybe more silence. Funny. I still remember the slanted room. .. The things memory doesn’t let you forget sometimes become the memories you long for. Just the proximity of knowing your ace is nearby.

Brother N and his best friend both had birthdays recently. I enjoyed reading the post he had about his best friend. But I wondered in my heart would our relationship ever return to our prior years closeness? Not that it’s a contest, but I can’t recall ever getting a solitary long shout out like that from my bro on my birthday. And I don’t think that he’s a d*ck for it… I just think it’s a reflection of where things are…right now. A rollercoaster ride that swings from engagement to no engagement/communication. A feeling that our bond of steel has whittled into maybe a rod of PVC. Not weak, but definitely not tough as it used to be.

And it sucks. Life transitions never take you far away from the blood bond you share with those closest. Decisions or actions (or lack of either of those) don’t change the noticeable quietness my world has without his voice in it.

So what did I do? I celebrated my brother’s birthday, in muted fashion. I wasn’t with him, but I thought about him a lot. And here’s where I ended up: A toast to the guy who, for me, always has a “Y” on the end of his name (you know how family does — if your name is Paul, they call you Pauly; term of endearment). . .

To my first friend, my first secret keeper…the holder of my first debt (stories my parents still don’t know! lol)… My first defender. The person who’s library card was 2 digits different from mine; sharer of DNA, Eyes that witnessed the world like mine.. To the person I have defended and gotten shafted by… my first court room opponent (even if it was the court of Mom) — I miss you. I hope that one day soon, we can have shared vacations, family photos, newfound sibling love. I remember so many conversations… So since you’ll take a peek at this, I’m going to list my top ten – and hope that you can fill in the details…

A trip down memory lane:

1.Family Vacation to 6-Flags in Jersey, said by Mum: “______, GOD! Jesus! PLEASE!”
2.The white Toyota Corolla that got started with a _________. (whoo I thought you were gonna DIE that day!)
3.When Mom said in heaven we wouldn’t know each other…
4.When Gma Nettie passed away…
5.Big brother’s 4 ace chain that you…. Well you remember that!
6.1997 with W.L.A
7.My 7th grade year: Math wing. Dude who … had a bad encounter with you, lol.
8.When we came home and thought we were robbed….
9.I was ironing and I learned about Tigs and…
10.When you fell down Gma’s stone steps & Gma whipped out the Vaseline to treat you (lol)…man I thought you broke some bones that day. I was soo scared

LOL – man. You helped me into the wonderful person I am today – so I thank you. I love the shared genes I see in my nieces and nephew; I stop and think that they literally have the same parts of blood that I do, flowing through their little bodies. Pretty excited for the future. Miss you much – and if the new you is the final version of you… let’s share more time together & I’ll grow and know this person. Either way I love you bro.

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