Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Brother and Me

Being family is a strange thing. We are connected by family line, blood, and shared experiences, which seems should be enough to make us close but that’s not always the case. For some very sad reason it’s so much more complicated than that. Although we live only a handful of miles apart my brother and I rarely talk. We use to, and I’m not really sure when, where or how we drifted apart and I don’t care to relive, point fingers and place blame as to why we don’t. I no longer expect to be included in what’s going on in his world, no longer expect birthday wishes or congratulations when big events happen but disappointment and sadness still sets in when it doesn’t. In return, the invitations extended to him seem more like something that’s required rather than something that I want to do. Phone calls on his birthday and holidays are awkward but made, none-the-less.

We are two different people, two different philosophies and building two separate lives. That doesn’t mean that our paths can’t, don’t and shouldn’t cross. They, in fact should. We should get together, say hello and care for each other. I now have a daughter who needs to know ever she is part of a bigger family that extends beyond our walls. My soul is fed by the love of people who keep me close, not by those who have drifted and distanced themselves.

It saddens me to think this separation between my bother and me has brought angst to my mom. I know she think she needs to fix it. But really is there anything to fix? Do we need to be close? I love my bother and I know, although we are not close, he returns those feelings. I still feel like he’s my protective older brother and I like the sense of familiarity. I know he will be by my side if called and I will be by his. In the future, there will be times when we will need each other and I know our lack of daily or weekly communication will not stand in the way because after all, we are family.

8 comments:

Thinking Thin said...

I have a similiar type of relationship with my brother. It has always been like that. There is nothing expected of either of us. I know he loves me in his way and I love him in mine. It's a shame we can't be closer but we are just way too different. As for your mom, I'm sorry to say she will probably continue to try to "fix" things even if there really isn't anything to fix. Even though you aren't very close with your brother don't let that keep you from still inviting him to functions. Absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder :).

As a side note, I am trying to hold A closer *wink!

MizFit said...

this is so on my mind as well...since my daughter is an only and shall always be.
my older sister and I are BEYOND DIFFERENT.
and only have started 'talking' the past few years but as you point out we are family.
I always knew she would be there for me in the proverbial pinch.

and it did completely make my mom sad we werent closer as well.

Gigi said...

I'm in the same boat as you. I continue to extend invitations and such but it is sadly a one-way street. I had hoped that with our parents so sick we would have grown closer but that is not the case. Accepting this is difficult but friends help fill the void. Keep trying as you never know if things might change for the better.

Sagan said...

That's the good thing about family- you've always got them, even if you grow apart they will always continue to be there. And this is certainly the time of year to be thinking about family!

I think that this is the case for most siblings. My sister and I are really close, but we're more like best friends than siblings- I think, however, that it is an unusual case.

Is there any way to explain it to your mum to put her mind at rest?

Sherre said...

I have the same relationship with my brother. It does make me sad, but as you've said, I'd donate a kidney if he needed one. And I suspect he'd do the same.

Aleta said...

My brother and I went through phases. We were close and then for years, just drifted into different styles of life. Now, he's married and his wife is a lovely person who, happily, appreciates and enjoys our family, so I get to spend more time with my brother and he's a lot happier these days. You never know what path will bring you to a person's door. The best you can hope for is to continue being you and calling him for those special days. He'll come around when it's his time to do so. *hugs*

Marcie said...

This post could've been about my older brother (by 3 years) and me. Even though he lives just 50 miles up the interstate, I maybe see him 3 or 4 times a year. I can count the number of times we've spoken on the phone on two hands...and probably the number of minutes all of them totaled on those same two hands. But I know that when I need help, he's there for me. He spent all day in 95 degree weather digging up and fixing our underground sprinklers last summer. He drove an hour out of his way when our car broke down in Iowa to come rescue us. When they lost electricity due to a storm, I bought a generator and drove it up to him since the stores in his area were sold out. So it's not that we hate each other...or that we don't get along...we just don't talk. Never have really. Our parents don't try to get us to be closer either and that's fine. It is what it is.

Tena said...

Sorry you have been made to feel unaccepted. That really hurts.

My brother has chosen a rich, selfish, relative over his family (my mom, son, and me). Money has a way of making people behave in ways that can ruin love for each other. I hope you and your brother can bridge across it. Mine, I fear is lost in the abyss.