June 2, 2014

When One Is In Complete Denial …


{Last trip to Bethany Beach together.}

Today the movers come to pack up my brother’s house. I am hiding in my bedroom in a little ball in the corner where I can pretend like it’s not happening.

I don’t know that my brother and I have always gotten along. But I cannot remember most of the fights, so it seems like we have. We are only thirteen months apart in age, so from the beginning of time he has been my playmate, minus that one time he pushed me down the stairs and broke my leg.

When we were little we used to ride on hippety-hops together and play Legos in the basement. We played Kick The Can with neighbors and Red Light Green Light. We spent hours looking at Star Wars cards and recreating every scene from the movie in a makeshift space ship crafted out of blankets and a bunk bed. He was always Luke and I was Leia.  Good thing they turned out to be siblings.

In elementary school I used to tag along and watch him play marbles with his friends. I’m sure it wasn’t cool, but he never told me he minded.

When I was in High School, he was always a year above me keeping an eye out for me. His friends were kind to me. They were also very good looking. He would drive me to seminary each morning in the blue station wagon and we would sing at the top of our lungs to New Edition, Janet Jackson and Bel Biv Devoe. He made me laugh so hard. But back then I had bladder control.

There were a few times where he made me super sad. There was one time he made me really mad. But we always figured things out and got back to the business of being close.

For two years he left to go serve a mission for our church. I always looked forward to his letters, devouring each one as I read with delight and realized the many ways that God was changing him into an even more amazing person than I thought he already was.

In college I was ahead of him in my studies. But he was there in that same city, going to that same school and I always knew he was near even if we weren’t together. He was fantastic at photography and every time I could I would show off his work and proudly exclaim that he was my talented and awesome brother. It was there that he and I both found the people we would spend the rest of our lives with, each spouse fully accepting our sibling closeness as a part of the deal.

For a brief period he and his wife lived in New York City. I was a new mom in Utah and harbored the teensiest bit of envy for him and his exciting life and choices. Mostly I just missed him and longed for us to be together where we could share joint memories again.

Ten years ago he moved his family to Virginia, his house a mere ten minutes from mine. Our children have grown up together. His two boys are my RedDog’s very best cousin friends. His wife is one of the best friends I’ve ever had. We’ve shared holidays and heartache. We’ve taken trips together and stayed up wee into the night laughing. It was here six years ago that we were together to learn that we had another sister.

For ten years I have felt such joy to have my brother right down the road.

It is so hard to acknowledge that he is moving. I am so happy for him because he has found a job he loves, is building a beautiful new home and will be right around the corner from my baby brother (who is also just AWESOME). But I am so sad for me. I am so sad for an end to our togetherness. I feel like I’m losing a limb. He’s my right hand guy.

I had to sit and cry and write about it today because I am feeling such love and gratitude for my brother and this life we’ve shared near each other for the past forty years.

I love you, Chris!

But don’t let it go to your head.


AllisonK said...

so beautiful! What a wonderful relationship you have!

AllisonK said...

so beautiful! What a wonderful relationship you have!

Chris Robbins :) said...

sniff. sniff. I love the love between the two of you. I pray for just a small piece of that for my kids.

Apis Melliflora said...

I am feeling for you and for him and for her and for them and for a whole lot of people.

It's so hard to part with a good book when you've finished it. And that's what the last 10 years have been ---maybe, there will be a sequel in the future! And, to switch metaphors, it will be like The Empire Strikes Back: even more amazing than the first movie!

The Queen Vee said...

Apis Melliflora, I have a feeling that you are feeling for yourself too….this isn't easy.

Some changes are just plain hard.

C, A and the boys are going to be very much missed. I have a feeling they just might miss the their family members who live West of the Mississippi too.

I'm happy for the Chris Carlson fan and the new opportunities and exciting changes that await them. Life=change. How we react to that change is our choice.

Bells said...

Well, that made me tear up a bit! Maybe you and your fam, and the grands will just have to move back here!

TracyS. said...

That's a hard one. Sorry for the changes, but it will make reunions more sweet, right?!

squeezeme said...

What a beautiful relationship you have with Chris. I love how you treasure this friendship. If anyone can keep a long distance relationship going, YOU can!