I had coffee with my brother the other day. We were both planning to meet for about an hour because things are busy, as they usually are.
We ended up staying at Starbucks for two hours! I couldn’t believe it! We’ve never done anything like that before.
And we actually had lots to talk about too.
I never thought I’d consider my brother one of my best friends, let alone ever want to be seen in public with him… go figure!
I remember my Mom and her sisters whenever they got together and they would talk for hours. They were more than siblings. They were best friends.
I think I’m seeing that with my brother.
We’ve always gotten along. Yes, we fought like cats & dogs at times, but overall we were pretty good to each other. Our parents got off pretty easy there.
We were good kids. No drugs, no big problems, pretty good at school, etc.
And just last year my brother, my dad and I were in Palm Springs when Dad purchased a house down there. We were helping Dad move in. I think Shawn and I spent more time goofing off in the pool than actually doing any real helping.
We spent hours in that pool. I had a blast with him. And we got along so well.
He was so funny – he kept me in stitches – from him doing ‘laps’ in the pool, to trying to float in the pool and sinking every time, to bonking his head on every low hanging beam, to trying to help me when I broke one of the patio chairs (and when I say help, I mean give me a hard time).
Not sure when he developed a sense of humour, but he must have got it from me…
I had a great time with him. And I see what an accomplished, confident, smart and funny man he has grown into.
Seriously grown. Seriously. The guy is six feet five inches or something obscene like that. That’s why I made that comment above about him hitting his noggin on door jambs. All I know is, after a visit with Shawn, my neck hurts after looking up to him all the time!
And I used to be the one he looked up to. In more ways than one.
In my own mind anyway.
And now look at him. He’s a very successful person with a wonderful, supportive wife and in-laws. His dogs (a.k.a. my nephews) are the biggest cuddle monsters. I love them to pieces, and so do my boys.
I think that I’m very lucky to have this great relationship with such a special person. He not only knows what is going on in my life now, but he knows what it was like to grow up in our family. That’s an important bond and I’m glad to have that with my brother.
We did a lot together.
Playing out on the street with friends, taking our dog for walks, riding bikes for slurpees (and smokes for our parents), putting up with adult parties and other parents’ kids, me forcing him to put on plays with neighbourhood kids…
Trying cigarettes for the first time together, jumping for hours on our trampoline and missing each other when I went away to school.
Having him stand up for me at my wedding.
And mourning over our mom together.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour right before our mom died five years ago. And after two operations, radiation & chemotherapy, he is in year three of clear-MRIs. So far so good.
What a trooper. If anyone was more positive, strong and determined, I definitely don’t know them.
He is such an optimistic character.
And I’m sure there were days when he was freaking out, when he was scared.
We don’t talk about it much; we mostly joke around and try to stay on the positive side of things.
This is what we’ve always done. When we get nervous or scared, our joking sides always emerge. This can be healing and helpful too. I feel sorry for anyone else having to put up with us. It’s usually really twisted stupid stuff. My mom would be proud…
Not sure what is in our future, but I definitely have my brother’s back. And I’m sure he will continue to be the same supportive, strong, caring person he always is, whatever we have to face.
Like my mom wished when we were kids; I hope my children have as good a relationship with each other as I do with my brother.
I’m sure he’s reading this and puking.
Shawn – if you’re reading this – let’s make another date for coffee – this time the java is on me!