I have sat for about an hour now staring at the screen trying to come up with an appropriate title to this post, and I can’t do it. Nothing seems to be good enough, or adequate enough.
This weekend my brother and I drove 3 hours with our spouses to see our brother, who we haven’t seen in 20 years. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of emotion wrapped up in this trip. I was so nervous and anxious yesterday. I wanted to just be able to see him, and to hug him. I wanted to be able to let him know how much he is loved. However, I worried that my expectation was going to be more than what he was able or willing to give back to us… this is something I have worried about for the last 20 years.
I can now say, yesterday was everything I hoped for. Numerous times throughout the day yesterday I thought ‘I can’t believe I am sitting here next to my brother.’ I wanted to just hug him and never let go. There were several times in the car that I wanted to just wrap my arms around him, but I restrained myself as to not scare him too much! ha ha
Our day was emotional, as expected. 20 years of catching up doesn’t happen in a few hours, and it certainly comes with questions and overwhelming feelings. Our intention with this visit was to answer questions as we knew the answers, and to just see our brother. To let him know that we wanted to see him, that we do love him, and that we have cared for him and wanted to see him all these years.
My heart hurt for my baby brother as I heard stories of his childhood, it physically pained me to hear the things he went through… and in those moments I would have given anything to turn back the clock and be there with him. My heart hurt as we said goodbye at the end of the day. My heart hurt when I woke up at 2 in the morning and thought about him. My heart hurt as we merged onto the freeway to head back home. However, that feeling of an aching heart was greatly outweighed by the joy that swelled inside my soul when I thought back to the moment I saw his face through the restaurant door at the beginning of the day, and the feeling of his arms wrapped around me.
Throughout our day I was amazed at how after 20 years of being apart we are so similar in so many ways. His laugh sounds like Eric, our older brother, he looks like us and our dad. He has our humor – dry, witty, and sarcastic. But, he seems goofy like me. We like similar movies. In all our similarities and differences, we share a common bond of our dad… something that will forever link us, and always has. We would be a perfect case study for someone wanting to debate nature vs. nurture. ha ha
Today, I am thankful that we had our day together, and in my mind I am already planning the next trip to see him… and hoping that someday, our sister will join in too. I feel like I am beaming. I have always heard people say the phrase “my cup runneth over,” however, I haven’t ever understood it as fully as I did yesterday when I wrapped my arms around my baby brother for the first time in 20 years.