I am freezing, always freezing on the bus. It is kept “meat locker” cold in here. Flannel shirt, scarf and hat are not quite enough to keep the frost off of me. Why? I don’t know, it’s how the headliner rolls. Maybe she’s fighting germs; maybe she’s fighting menopause. Either way, it’s about to snow in here.
We are speeding on our way to Jamestown NY, and looking out the window – it’s green trees as far as the eye can see. I guess we are in Ohio. Up in the corner is a large flat screen TV telling me about taxes and the Taliban, troops in Afganistan…and my thoughts make a B-Line for my brother. He’s in the reserves now after spending his active duty being a combat rescue pilot for the Airforce. He says it looks like he’s headed to Afganistan this year, and I hate that, purely for selfish reasons. I grew up the baby of the family, with no shortage of rivalry from my brother. Oh, did he punk on me.
I ran from him in high school, endured him in college, and now he’s pretty much the most important person in my life. He’s ALWAYS there for me with every celebration, with every heart break, he picks up the phone and has seemingly unending time for me. It always surprises me how right he is about my creativity and my growth. He and I were pretty much a Phoenix out of the flames story, so don’t think we are just great friends by the luck of the draw. A few years ago, after a family reunion, we were so mad at each other, he said he needed six months before he was going to talk to me again! We both made mistakes, but I vowed to myself (and him if he was listening) to be a better sister. It takes a lot of effort. Countless hours driving to whatever Holiday he wants me to show up for, or spending hundreds of dollars to get there and sleeping on a couch for a week in a freezing house.
Sometimes I’ll fill his fridge with groceries, or clean his house or whatever. But it’s no major sacrifice, it’s what helps us to build our relationship, and he’s worth it. I’m there for him as much as I can be, and he’s there for me. Family is worth it. He does so much for me and our family, it’s phenomenally giving of him. He does everything from cleaning out the old family house, to doing the taxes for years, dealing with the nursing home and insurance and so much more. The way he takes care of our Dad is above and beyond angelic. When we were kids at odds with each other, our Dad used to say “someday your siblings will be your best friends.” I thought he was nuts. Now I’d go nuts if I didn’t have my brother. I’m really proud of him, oh, and did I mention he’s also a Lawyer? Yeah, I pretty much won the lottery in brothers. Thanks God.