My older brother, Don, turned eighty-five the other day. Don and I have not lived near each other since high school. Although we talk and email, it’s not the same, and I regret that I can count the times I have seen him in the last ten years on one hand.
We’ve lived quite different lives. He’s had three wives and five daughters. I’ve had one husband and two sons. He loves golf and bridge. I don’t do either (although I learned bridge very young to make a fourth player for our family). His successful career was in business; mine in academia. I think he likes red meat more than I do. He’s still darn good looking.
We grew up in the same household, and I can picture Don coming home after school and eating a half-head of iceberg lettuce with our mother’s home-made thousand island dressing as if it were yesterday. I remember his fake sneeze that prevented me from hearing the announcer tell us what was coming next on Let’s Pretend, just to annoy me. As the younger child, I got away with more than he did, but throughout high school, I was Don’s little sister, and that could be good and bad.
Today, I just wish I could give him a big hug.