Posts Tagged With: siblings

je ne regrette (presque) rien

My brother got married.
In this room.

On Friday the thirteenth.
In January.
On Mt Hood.

At Timberline Lodge.

Where they shot the exteriors for The Shining.

Perhaps that tells you something about who he is. Who the woman he married is.
It sure as hell told me.

I haven’t seen my brother since my dad died over seven years ago. We talk occasionally, mostly we text. This seems to work for us.
Our relationship is tricky, but my love for him is genuine.

Since he met, and fell in love with this woman, he seems to me more like the little boy he was. More inclined to feel and express joy, more inclined to celebrate small things, less likely to focus on how much longer he has to be miserable in this life.

I will celebrate that until the last breath leaves my body!
But I’d choose to celebrate it from here while he feels love and joy there.
That’s what’s best for me. Not going into over-functioning ‘big sister mode’ around him. And though logically I know that’s unnecessary, that childhood conditioning kicks in, then the feeling borders on compulsion.

When YBW found out they were going to wed, he was so excited! He was like, I’m buying plane tickets right now! He enjoyed meeting my brother and would like to know him better.
Thing 2 was equally excited, bursting to celebrate with that beloved uncle!
Thing 1 was excited, but not eager to get on a plane across the country. Though neither did she want to miss anything.
I was over here like, this is a bad idea.
But as I’m his only sibling, and our parents are deceased, and my husband and youngest child were so unbelievably enthusiastic, I got on a plane across the country to celebrate my brother’s joy.
I mean, my husband, both my kids (and Boyfriend M) couldn’t go if I didn’t go, I’m the link, right?

It was as awkward as I’d imagined.
All her family (she’s one of six siblings), people she works with, my niece, who literally ran from me and her cousins, and my cousin, who stood up as best man, and the five of us.
Living through that meal was excruciating. There was no joy in Mudville, y’all. We were sat separately and essentially disregarded.
In all honesty, it was almost exactly what I expected.
But here’s the most important thing, I will always have the moment of seeing my brother’s tearful face filled with love and joy.
I don’t have to regret missing out on that.
And sometimes, that’s enough.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

inexhaustible love

I wrote about a precious young man I love in loving yourself.
I found out this week that he has testicular cancer.
He is twenty-one years old.
He’s had the tumor and one testicle removed but the cancer spread to one (and only one) of his lymph nodes near his right kidney.
He will start chemotherapy on Monday.

When his mom told me she asked that I not tell the girls, that he would want to do that in his own time. Today she asked me to share the news with them, he mustn’t have wanted to go over it again and again.

Thing 1, who calls him her brother, took the news better than I could have hoped. I expected her to fall apart. She didn’t. She held it together, asked intelligent questions, expressed her love for him, his family and for me. I apologized for being the bearer of bad news. She told me she was glad it was me, that I always give it to her straight, answer all her questions, and do it all with so much love.
I sent her a text a couple hours later to see how she was holding up. She already spoke with his boyfriend and was actually talking with him at the time.
She has enough stubborn love to keep him healthy by sheer force of her will.

Thing 2 listened and was uncharacteristically quiet. She asked about his siblings and boyfriend. We talked about him losing his beautiful hair but she decided he’s going to rock the bald! Then she joked about medical marijuana. She chastised herself for cracking wise. But in our family, we laugh at all things, good and bad. It’s a way to keep everything in perspective.
I told her the high percentage rate of curability and that I honestly believed he would be cancer free after his chemo. She was relieved, explaining that she was using my belief as her barometer of concern. She told me she’s learned that I know exactly how much to worry or be hopeful about every situation and that she always takes her cue from me.
However much she thinks she ‘hates people’, she’s one of the most positive human beings and he will be basking in everything she can send to him.

My heart aches for my dear, dear friend and her husband. The fear they must be experiencing. She’s so brave. She loves her kids with such ferocity. But this isn’t something she can sort. She has to wait while God and modern medicine sort it.
Being a parent is simultaneously the most wonderful and horrifically difficult experience. This is one of those times difficult takes center stage. But wonderful waits in the wings in the form of family and friends lifting each other up with love and light.

My love for this young man is inexhaustible.
I know love doesn’t really conquer all. But in this case, I’m going to believe that tremendous amounts of love and a little bit of chemo will kick cancer’s ass!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

pretty great Robybird week

I took the day off to do estate stuff…which included me going to the antique coin shop, an antique shop and going to the bank.
As it turns out, the coins Daddie had are pretty much worthless above face value. Some of the old dimes are worth about a dollar and ten cents and the Kennedy half dollars are worth about two dollars because of the silver content. (Um, OK…thanks.)
The girl at the antique shop told me they do buy silverware and handmade lace, the owner wasn’t in the shop today, and she does the buying, but I can call her and set up a time to come in if I’d like. (Super…thanks.)
The bank was a bit more successful, but not exactly what I was expecting.
I’m so over “estate stuff” I could scream.
My brother, who complains he’s three thousand miles from home and miserable, is selling off all my Dad’s woodshop and mechanic tools and using the money to buy heroin. (Awesome.) Then he’s up my ass about what I am and am not getting done. (Oh I’m sorry, does the fact I work full time keep me from getting stuff done and that displeases you? Well too damn bad for you. Go back from whence you came…I’m sure I can handle this without your input.)
Of course he can’t go back to the west coast because he hasn’t any money…so I’m stuck with him and his crap attitude. I believe he expects a big payday when all is said and done…well that’s not going to happen.
It’s OK because I’m going about my business and doing what needs to be done for my life and the estate. I’ve spent forty one years worrying about him and I think it’s time for me to stop. It’s hard though, because I can’t just say: I’m going to need for you to get it together. He hasn’t gotten it together in forty one years…and that’s his issue not mine, it’s just easier for me to ignore it when he’s there and not here.

On a more positive note, I’m feeling really great about my new classroom at school and I’m absolutely mad about my co-teacher. She and I work beautifully together! We have similar points of view but come at things from different places, so we compliment each other well. She came from a four year old class and I came from a two year old class, so we’re meeting in the middle with these three year olds. I know where they’re coming from and she knows where they’re headed and we are successfully combining our know how to make a great classroom. I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made in two short weeks. It makes me love being a preschool teacher again.

I’m going to watch a bit of Baltimore baseball…my Nationals are having a respite tonight after kicking the asses of the Rockies three times this week. I love that I’ve helped YBW learn to like baseball…even if the heat was unbearable Tuesday night, I got my Nats blankie and I was happy. YBW said, I don’t normally like to sweat this much unless there are orgasms involved. I just cackled and folks looked at us but I didn’t care, I was with my own precious darling watching my favorite game. And we won!
What a great Robynbird week!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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