Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Brother



I have one sibling. A brother seven years younger.  Ironically, his name starts with a B. I can’t remember when he was little. For that matter, I can’t really remember when I was little. How much are we supposed to remember about our childhood? I don’t know. I wonder if there’s something unhealthy about not remembering.
 
Seven years is a lot. Sometimes I don’t think brother and I have much in common, then at other times, I realize we do. Often, I don’t feel we really know each other. That makes sense. He lives in one state and I live in another. He never left our hometown except when he went to college; but then again, he’s a world traveler.  

During our adult years, we’ve only spent time together during holidays. I’ve gone to his kids’ graduations and weddings. He came to my daughter’s graduation in Louisiana. And once he stayed up all night playing Nintendo with my stepson. All night. Mario Brothers didn't have a chance!Brother even called the help hotline when they ran into a problem. He has always been ... focussed.

Since the ordeal with our mom, we’re getting to know each other. It’s a little weird. I look at him and I see a grown man. It’s not like he hasn’t been grown for years—he’s in his 50s. I realize I’ve never thought of him that way. When I think of my brother, I remember the kid that constantly tried to make me throw up. I have a very weak stomach and he enjoyed grossing me out. I remember how he always wanted to touch my neck—knowing full well I hated for anyone to do that; still do. I have a lot of quirky hang-ups. I wonder if he remembers them.

A few weeks ago, I sat across the kitchen table watching my brother eat little cuties, those small clemetines that are a variety of mandarin orange, and I noticed how large his hands are, how thick his fingers. I realized he’s got our grandfather’s hands. For some reason, that brought a lump to my throat.
Here’s a picture of my brother’s hand holding my mother's.
Have you  ever looked at your brother or sister, or mom or dad, and noticed something you’d never noticed before? How did it affect you?

12 comments:

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Very emotional post. Thank you for sharing.

Fran Clark said...

Now that my siblings and I are that bit older I look at them now and find how alike we look these days. Something I never noticed before even though I've been told all my life how much I look like them. Never saw it until now!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If you were seven years apart, then technically you were only kids. At least you have a chance to know each other better now.

Charles Gramlich said...

My oldest brother is 20 years older than me. I've seen him probably only about 30 times in my life. I always seem to notice something new about him.

danneromero said...

I remember seeing my dad as 'old' for the first time. Expected, yet strange to see him as aged.

Sylvia Ney said...

My brother is 21 years YOUNGER than I am. He has changed every time I get to see him, which unfortunately, is only about once every year or two.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Debra - thank you for stopping by to read.

Fran - funny how that happens.

Diane - 7 years was a lot to me. And the older I got the bigger the gap, until my 20s.

Charles - My husband is 19 years older than his youngest brother.

Danneromero - thanks for popping in. I always thought of my parents as young, in their 30s until one day ...

Sylvia - I can't imagine!

Helen Baggott - Author Services said...

Such an emotional post - got me thinking about my own family.

Maria said...

I can identify with your relationship with your brother. There are eight years between me and mine. I left home at 17 so really never got to know my brother at all...

We do see each other, but sometimes not for many months...I see our late father in him though when I do.

Very emotional post.

Jan Newman said...

My sister was seven years older than I am. It's a lot when you're children. It prevents you from becoming all that close. You lose those years and have to make up for them when you're older, if you can. I'm glad you're getting the chance. Seize it!
When I look at my mom, I realize how tiny she is.

Diana said...

Isn't it odd how people freeze in time? Your rational self knows they have grown, but in some part of you they stay the same.

I am an only child, I am glad you have your brother to join you in helping your Mother

Bethie said...

Nice post. My oldest brother is a police officer. I have a picture of him holding a baby who's mother had been murdered. It's hard to think that's the guy who still owes me $20 bucks from high school! I'm glad my family has always been close.