Growing up should take longer than it does. I needed more than 18 years to appreciate what I have in my brothers.
I didn’t see it as a young girl on a Saturday morning who didn’t want to watch Thundercats or WWF, but was voted out every time. Or as an adolescent who just got tired of all the toothpaste always being on the outside of the tube, so thick and dried up that the lid wouldn’t close. Or as a teenager, going through the grunge phase, who couldn’t find her favorite flannel shirt, because her brother was wearing it!!!
But I saw it today, when my heart ached because I miss them so much.
When my boys fight, I find myself saying things like ‘Don’t you know how lucky you are to have each other???’ ‘So few people get TWO brothers! And ALL of you get TWO!’ ‘You better love each other!’ One day you might live far apart and you might miss each other!!! (I don’t actually say that last part, because I fully expect my children to always live right beside me…. – daughters-in-law, take note.)
Boy did we used to fight. There were three of us and two would always gang up on one. Jonathan and I used to run by the bathroom and throw things in the tub while Jeremy took a bath. Jeremy and I tormented Jonathan simply out of duty as younger siblings. Jeremy and Jonathan did all sorts of terrible things to me, like take apart their motorized cars and put the little spinning thing in my long thick hair….creating such a tangle it had to be cut out. Or decapitating my Barbies. Or making faces at me during dinner which made me laugh so hard I had to be excused from the table, and forego supper! (I still sometimes laugh at inappropriate times. I blame them.) Or making fun of me for listening to Mariah Carey’s “Always be my baby” for the 276th time. (I kinda get it now, by the way.)
But the fighting must be all part of it. There must be something in the wrestling, the fighting, the arguing that makes the bond stronger. Maybe because the bond has already endured such turmoil, it is mega-ultra-super strong.
That bond sure came in handy in my young adult years. Like when Jonathan had to help me get out of a situation I shouldn’t have been in in the first place. Or when Jeremy called to comfort me when my dog died, the sheer compassion in his voice bringing me to tears. Or when Jonathan spoke at my wedding. Or when Jeremy anointed our home. Or when they baptized me.
They baptized me. Do you know what that meant to me?? There was a time in our teenage years when I didn’t know if they would make it. As in live… We had all strayed so far. And 2 years ago, they led me out in the ocean and prayed over me and commissioned me to service in the Lord.
Mega, ultra, super, strong bond.
It’s that bond that makes me rejoice in their joys. Like when my nephew was born and I held him and thought I was going to fall to pieces because I instantaneously loved him so much. But it was more than “I really love this baby”. It was like, he was a piece of me, like he was my heart, just a little further away.
It’s that bond that makes their heartaches mine. Like when a relationship failed, and it pierced me to the core. And when I was told the ultrasound showed no more sign of life, I felt as though I couldn’t breathe.
Their pain is my pain, their joy my joy.
They’re the only ones I can make fun of my parents with. They’re the only ones who really understand why I turned out the way I did. They encourage me. They strengthen me. They challenge me. They bless me by the way they live their lives every single day.
Some days I just wish they weren’t so far away. Looking forward to eternity with you.
Love you, brothers.