My brother and I are 12 years apart, which, in a way, made us both only children. While I was looking forward to new adventures in college, he was making new friends in kindergarten.
I taught him how to organize his Ninja Turtle wallet, much to the chagrin of my parents, who used to sneak and borrow gas money when they didn’t have cash. As a four-year-old, B “counted” his money nearly every day. They couldn’t get over on him once he kept his bills in order.
I sent him letters from college, and he wrote back with an uneven hand on that extra-wide-ruled kid paper: “Hi. I miss you.”
We were as close as we could be, considering that I was in college and grad school while he was growing up. Which really meant we weren’t all that close.
Things changed last year when we went to our family reunion in Memphis. After the annual banquet, we hit Beale street for some drinks. My brother was drinking from a whalebone!! The 12 year difference faded fast as I had a few cocktails of my own.
We’ve been talking a lot more since then, and I’ve learned that my brother has grown into a fine young man. I know it sounds corny, but I couldn’t think of a more witty way to put it.
Now we stand as two adults facing a family challenge. Questioning physicians, handling household affairs, and shepherding Daddy back from bouts of extreme worry about Momma. This last one is a blog post or two in itself.
I don’t think I could get through this without him. This trying ordeal has made me think about my daughter, who is an only child. What support network will she have when it comes time to “parent” my husband and me?
I guess we still have time. My parents waited 12 years, and, as I’ve learned, that’s not so big a difference after all.
— Post From My iPhone