Found Siblings

19 Apr
When I was about twelve years old my brother came back into my life. He was around eighteen. That was a very hard time for me. For many of the years in between I did not know him. His dad passed away in a motorcycle accident. While that was surely a very hard time for him, it also brought him back into all of our lives. I wanted that. I wanted a brother, my brother.
My brother showed up just before my birthday. We spent time together with my family before he and I embarked ALONE on a road trip. The day we left I was an absolute mess. Disclaimer, I was always the kid that went to summer camp and got home sick. As much as I wanted to get away from my family, I really didn’t.
We get into the old beat up Cadillac. I am sitting in the car hysterically crying. My brother goes back inside the house and gets my mom He doesn’t know what to do. She comes out to the car, opens my door, looks and me and says, “you are going on this trip. Tears will do you no good. Your brother came all this way to do this with you and you are not backing out of it now. So stop crying.” Then she looked at my brother and said, “drive” shut the passenger door and walked away. Talk about tough love!
Off we went. As we drove away it started to rain. Water started leaking on me from above and I could feel the rain drops hitting my face. I cried harder. We continued down the highway and I heard the worst words yet, “We missed the exit. We have to turn around and get directions.” Panic!!!! I was panicking! Here I am in a car, water pouring (ok that might be an exaggeration) on me, with a stranger and we are lost !!! My brother pulled into a gas station and when he came out a few moments later he handed me a Slim Jim…something I had never had in my parents house. It was pretty good. Score one for my brother 😉
We finally made it to our first of several stops.
I think the trouble I faced with my brother was that I had so much pressure from everyone. I was supposed to instantly love him because he was my brother but it was hard for me because I was still a kid. I understood that he was my brother but he was also a stranger. I had people getting mad at me and giving me lectures because of the way I was with him. I think that pushed me further away rather than towards him.
The thing about my brother is that I am not sure that he got it. I am not sure that he understood why I was the way I was. I am sure that my reaction wasn’t what he had hoped for. But the thing is, unlike everyone else, he never pressured me. He never asked anything of me. But he also never gave up on me. He still called. He still showed up. While he was in boot camp in the Navy and out on deployment, he wrote to me. He kept telling me that he loved me and kept proving it over and over.
In time, I began to feel like I knew him. I began to trust him. I began to really love him. Not the “smile and do what everyone is telling me to” kind, but the kind where I truly loved him as my brother. I was interested in him and the things he was doing. I liked talking to him and our bond began to grow. He would tell me about our mom and growing up.
I sometimes think that our mom brought us back into each other’s lives for reason. For him, because his dad died leaving such a void. He needed family. And me, while I had been blessed with so much growing up, having him in my life is kind of like having our own little family. I think our mom looks down on us and smiles knowing that her kids are together.
Two years ago I flew down to see my brother and his family. He came to pick me up at the airport. When we got in the car, there were 2 Slim Jims sitting on the dashboard. I love that we can look back now and laugh.
My brother has given me so much. He has given me his love, a sister in law and beautiful nuggets for me to watch grow up into amazing little people. I am so blessed to have them.  all in my life. A life filled with more love and happiness because they are in it.

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