To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts.
We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets,
family griefs and joys.
We live outside the touch of time.
My brother is 30 today.
We have a relationship as I imagine many siblings do. We don’t talk a whole lot, even though he lives ten minutes away. But when we do we could go on for hours, about anything and everything, as if we’d spent no time apart.
At seven years apart, we were never especially close as children. By the time he had become old enough to be less of a child and more of a friend, I was already a teenager and one foot out of the house, which I cringe to recollect today.
I should have been there more.
Sometimes it’s scary how similar we are, shaped by our common experience growing up in the same house and going to the same school. Sometimes I read things he has written and it takes my breath away. It sounds like something I wrote myself.
My brother takes care of me, even now when he has a beautiful family of his own. He checks in. He nods understandingly or gives me the look that says I’ve gone too far. He cheers me on as I conquer my fear of the water. He changes my oil, fills my wiper fluid.
He has a daughter so beautiful that I want to put her in my pocket and keep her small forever. I see echoes of him in her. I see glimpses of me.
We don’t do affection, although I know the affection is there. We speak fondly of each other. The horror of the months after our father’s death, my mother’s death soon after, forged something between us that no time or distance will ever erode. We survived together. We’ll do anything to spare the other living through that kind of pain again.
But sometimes you need to do more than just know the bond exists… so here you go.
A token of my love for my brother. On his birthday.
Let’s not speak of this ever again.
*NOTE: My husband didn’t realize there’s a slideshow, and I figure he’s not the only one. Start at the first pic and go through- they’re captioned!*