Nov. 26, 2021

I'll Be Seeing You

Jeni Thomas

A little brother is your first friend. When you're a child, knowing that you have a brother or sister to come home to play with is the best comfort in the world. As you get older, he becomes your first trusted confidante and the person you shelter with when your world is falling apart. He is the keeper of your most personal secrets, and at times in my life when I felt most alone, my brother's love was the only constant. 

When you're a teenager, he annoys you in the worst way. He uses your room when you aren't home. He eats the Chinese food in the fridge, you know, the one you have been looking forward to all day. To retaliate, you go into his closet when he isn't home and take his favorite t-shirt. I still have it in my drawer, even now. (Yes, I quoted T.S.)

Your brother knows how crazy you are and how crazy you were about that boy in high school. He remembers you with acne and braces. And, when you want to cheer him up, you email him that embarrassing video from your 8th-grade graduation, which puts on full display your teenage awkwardness. He was witness to the most embarrassing moments of your life and loved you anyway.

As I have gotten older, one constant I've come to rely on, my brother and I always have each other's back. And, at times, it was he and I against the world. Whenever I am having a problem, he listens to me vent and vice versa. Never too overstep, just to listen. 

I remember so clearly the day that my brother came home from the hospital, and since then, we have never lived more than forty-five minutes away from one another our entire lives. So, when he told me that he would accept a job in another state and move in the next few weeks, I was heartbroken. I did not tell him, but he knew. When I heard the words coming through the phone, it was like they were coming through in slow motion. A sinking feeling began to form in the pit of my stomach. As soon as I hung up the phone, I ran to the bathroom, threw up, and cried. 

I knew that he had to go, but I desperately wanted him to stay. I would never ask him to stay, even if I thought he would. That wouldn't be fair. I knew that letting him go peacefully would be the best way to show him that I loved him. Anything other than that would be selfish, and the good Lord knows that he had enough selfishness from our mother. I understand that the best way to show my brother how much I love him is to let him go without guilt. My heart will be broken for a little while, and I may never feel whole again without him here to meet for lunch when I'm having a bad day. But, in time, I will find my way, and be I will be ok. I am very blessed to have this brother of mine. I am proud of the man that my brother has become and will love him near or far, always.

Change in our lives is inevitable, and we all face It differently. Some of us love it, others dislike it, and if you are like me, you fear it. But, as Carrie Bradshaw so eloquently put it, "Seasons change, so do cities; people come into your life, and people go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you're very lucky, a plane ride away."