First, thank you for today. I love it when I wake up and I’m still here. Now, secondly, thank you for my brother, Richard. When we were younger neither of us were very good at the whole “being a supportive brother” thing, but now that we’ve grown, I couldn’t ask for a better friend.
This isn’t my typical blog post, but it’s something that’s been pressing on my heart. I need to say these things and not just privately.
Fifteen years ago if you had asked me what I thought of my younger brother I would tell you “I love him.” Or I would have made a fat joke. (Oh, the irony.) What I wouldn’t tell you is this:
He is funny, charming, intelligent, honorable, kind, and fair-minded. He has been nothing short of a beacon of support for me in any endeavor I have ever had, and doesn’t speak to me as if one day I will be successful, but as if I already am. Do I have disagreements with him? Of course, one could say “all the time,” but they are no longer fights, they are conversations. Do I think he’s obnoxious? Incredibly. But then again, so am I. I like to blame it on being a Gemini, but the stars hold little sway on my behavior, not nearly as much as I do.
When I was younger I was indifferent to this “younger” person who was not smaller than me. I know, if you ask him, he would say I was a horrible older brother. I wasn’t mean, and I cared about him deeply. That being said our relationship never really evolved past the point it was when my parents brought him home from the hospital:
“If I hit him (physically or emotionally) he’ll make noise, and often times he’ll make enough noise or the wrong noise, and he’ll get in trouble instead of me.” Like the time when I poked him and he threw himself through a table in order to get me in trouble for pushing. As quick and clever as the plan was, our mother saw through it. #Skills
It wasn’t until I was 21 that I stopped this. When I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and despite all of our previous history, my brother showered me with support. I let a lot of things go during chemotherapy, to say nothing about my hair. I don’t usually sweat the small stuff (outside of food in restaurants) anymore, and hurting my brother for sport had no more appeal. It was childish. And though, not intended, it was cruel.
Now, not all of the change was me, but it was enough. I have found that this crusty Tech Sergeant is and has always been my best friend. And I can’t thank God enough for bringing him into my life on that June morning, so many years ago.