I hadn’t seen my brother Don since Peter and I attended the wedding of his daughter in North Carolina almost four years ago. We tried to get together a few times that didn’t work out, so we were delighted when he and his wife Nancy agreed to visit us in Florida, especially since it would be just the four of us with no kids or grandkids.
Don and I are not particularly close. But when you have shared your childhood and parents, there is an unavoidable closeness, with memories that no one else alive has experienced. We pretty much agreed on lots of things in our past. But there were some things he remembered about our high school teachers, our grandfather, our life before we moved to Pittsburgh, our parents and more that I had completely forgotten. And there were things I remembered that he didn’t recall.
I’m sure that Peter and Nancy didn’t enjoy hearing that that Miss Skarinsky, our typing teacher loved Don enough to bring him chocolate cake on his birthday, or that my aged French teacher, Edna Todd, was a strange bird. Or that Mr. Roller, my homeroom teacher never forgave me for taking French because he was the Spanish teacher. Or the names of our favorite horses or how many riflery medals we won at camp.
When we got to politics, where Don and I have very different views, we managed to find a thing or two that we agreed on.
Let’s face it. There’s no accounting for how two siblings raised in the same home with the same loving parents can turn out to have such different values and lives. But what we share outweighs that and we promised we wouldn’t wait four years to get together again.