Saturday, May 24, 2008

Unexpected Surprise

There was a present I forgot to tell you about on my birthday, given to me by my brother, my next oldest sibling. It didn't cost him a thing, but it was the best thing he could have given me. He made me feel loved and worthy and remembered, all in one little gesture. Was it a phone call? No. Well, he did that, too, but that wasn't what I meant. Was it a card? He sent one of those, too, but it was nothing compared to the real gift.

He sent me an email. No jokes, no silly content of any kind. I'll let you read it for yourself:

Hey kid,

I remember that early summer day when I got home they told me I had a little sister and I was so excited all I wanted to do was to hold you and try to teach you everything I knew, which wasn’t a lot since I was only just turned seven, so there I was holding you and talking while you gurgled and giggled and of course once the puking started I was out of there. There were a few other instances you got me pretty good like the smelly diaper usually while I was being nice to you (must have been to orelaxed). Or the warmth felt on my lap when you ALSO relaxed to much, Yep! mom knew when to hand you off. And Andy our dog would just let you do whatever to him and after you were done harassing him he’d walk off and shake all the dirt and slobber off that he could before coming back for more if you were up to it. Big Sis and I were usually the ones holding you the most and we protected you as only a young brother and sister could. Times were different then and it was simpler.

Now we are so into our jobs we forget those good times before job, spouses and kids, that always draw the most attention, interfering with our good time chats and allowing us to venture back, now quite a few years, to those early days.

Hope you enjoy your BD sis and may we never lose our memories or our minds.


I was stunned and in tears. My brother is someone I always looked up to, but he seemed a tad bit aloof to me, never really showing his emotions. I've given you some insight into my turbulent family life before, and while we were growing up, I remember him being hit the most. I guess he learned to shut his feelings off. I guess that's why this email immediately had me in tears. It was so unlike him. I suddenly worried if something was wrong, if he was sick and might be trying to say the things he wanted to say. But no, he was just being nostalgic on my birthday. He is alright, as far as I know. We had a very good conversation on the phone that night and I told him how much his email affected me.

It was like a silent virtual hug over the phone, and suddenly I found myself wishing he weren't living in Kansas with me here in Maryland. When we left home, we scattered to the four winds. It was better that way for us all, but now that Mom is gone, I think we're all beginning to miss each other just a bit. We don't have that same "yeah whatever" cockiness that lulled us into believing that Mom would always be our resource for information on the others or that none of us would ever die. When I talk to Big Sis, she and I long for each others' company. I long to see my brother, too. Our other siblings are rather messed up and are busy floundering on rock bottom while the rest of us wonder if they'll ever get it together. We did everything we could for them, and now it's up to them to finish the job.

But the three of us he talks about in the letter? I wish we all lived closer together and could manage to always get along. I wish all animosities would go away forever. I wish I could count on them to hold me when things got rough (and I would promise not to get "too relaxed").

Funny how life is, how you can get those little unexpected surprises - the good kind - just when you need them most.

Sending a lot of love out to my brother today....D


Maggie May said...

OHHHHH! I'm dabbing my eyes now! Lovely post.

Daryl said...

What a truly wonderful gift .. thank you for sharing .. this is a really touching post


Momma said...

Maggie - See what I mean? It is one of those rare emails that carries so much weight. Still gives me goosebumps.

Daryl - Thank you for reading. It's the best thing I ever got.

Peace - D

Childlife said...

What a sweet letter -- sounds like you've got a great brother! Those are my favorite kind of birthday gifts too :)

Happy belated birthday D!

Becky said...

What a neat email.

I hope my kids will someday be able to share those kinds of memories with each other and will try to stay close! :)

The Maid
Thanks for stopping by my blog! ;)
I'll check back with you again.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

What an email! Oh my goodness, truly heart touching. Wow, what an affirmation from big bro. I can plainly see why it made your day, and your birthday.

I hope you and your brother and sister can all get together soon. It's a different sibling landscape in adulthood, isn't it.

Sorry about the others who have left the fold...

Momma said...

Childlife - Thanks for popping over to my blog. I hope everything is going well with you and your beautiful children.

Becky - You just never know. Siblings have complex relationships (especially when there are a bunch of them, like us). They nearly always work it out.

Lavinia - It truly is a different landscape in adulthood. Eventually, I hope the other two sibs get it together enough to stop blaming everyone else for their problems. It makes it hard to be around them, but substances will do that to a person.

Peace - D