Skip to main content

View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday (182 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Don't I know it (5+ / 0-)

    I had only one sibling. My younger sister who passed away three years ago. We didn't always have the smoothest relationship but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss her. When I was young I wanted to be an only child. Now? Not so much.

    •  My sympathies. (7+ / 0-)

      It may have been three years ago, but mourning knows no timeline.

      I have an older brother, a younger sister and a younger brother. We are 59, 56, 52 and 49, respectively. My younger brother and I are very tight, as in finishing one another's thoughts and even communicating silently at times. (Knowing just what the other is thinking.)
      My sister and I grew up fighting, arguing... We just could NOT get along.
      Then she entered dating age and I was the go-to guy for things she could not discuss with my parents. After I moved out and she got her license, she'd bring her friends over to hang out at my apartment. I didn't mind. Real cute friends. (Never dated any. I respect my sister's friendships and wouldn't risk burdening them.)
      Now she is one of my favorite people. She's helped me out of a couple of financial jams and I've helped her through some rough emotional times and to shed her republicanism for something much more loving and Christian: Liberalism.

      I tell her I love her quite often. That's something she never heard from me until she was in her late 20s.

      I sent her a birthday card once. It was a blank one and I told her in plain language how proud I am of her and why and how much she means to me. She called me up sobbing.
      If you've never done that for someone you love, I couldn't recommend it more. I guarantee that card from over 20 years ago is someplace where she can lay her hands on it with ease.

      I know that when I am old and decrepit, I will have come to love and appreciate my siblings even more. Though my older brother is two years my senior, I hope I'm the first of the four of us to die. I do not want to lose any of them. I certainly could not bear to be the sole survivor of the four of us.

      Again, my sympathies, bob. I hope your life has many close relationships, that you are loved by many. If your contributions here are any indication, you certainly deserve it.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:25:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you GG (6+ / 0-)

        What a nice thing to say. I'm pretty darned lucky. I have a wonderful partner, lots of good friends and a great relationship with my mom who is 87 still going strong. I'm taking her out to lunch on Friday.

        My relationship with my sister was far different from yours. We were just far enough apart in age that I was mainly away at college when she was in high school. Her dating choices sometimes left something to be desired. At 18 she left home with her second boyfriend (who I and my folks actually liked) and we were then on opposite sides of the country for a number of years. I didn't get on at all with her first husband, which presented some significant problems along the way. We finally fully reconciled only a few weeks before her death. We had become very different people over the years and there was little we could do by that point to make up for the lost time. But I spent as much time as I could with her during her final illness and we agreed during our final conversation that we'd said everything to each other that needed to be said.

        •  How wonderful that you were able to have (6+ / 0-)

          that conversation. I felt a little internal rejoicing when I read that. Because...

          I grew up with a best friend next door from the time I was two and he was a newborn. We were like brothers. Our birthdays were 4 days apart and, more often than not in our childhood years, we had two celebrations- his and mine.
          But we fought like brothers, too. Fists. Kicks. It didn't often take longer than two days to come back around and just get back to being best buds.
          But we grew. And I grew large. He began mocking my girlfriend. I was fifteen and he was thirteen. And I hit him. Oh God, how hard I hit him right between the eyes, which swelled shut as his broken nose spewed blood over his mouth and soaked his shirt.
          This was on the bus on the way to school. He told the transportation supervisor that he had it coming. He'd practically asked for it.
          If I could take anything back in my lifetime, every stupid, hurtful thing I'd ever said or done to anybody, I would not have to hesitate or think about it. I'd take back that one punch from 41 years ago.
          We were neighbors, friends, brothers. Our families were close. Our sisters were BFFs. Our little brothers were BFFs. One punch, and he didn't speak to me for 16 years.
          Except once, in a bar. He was already shellacked. We talked and drank together until he stopped and strained to focus on my face. And he went cold, stood up and staggered out of the bar. He hadn't known it was me.

          The love of a good woman can do a lot. And my former friend married a girl I had dated for a brief time, but had remained friends with for a few years before they met. Time does heal wounds, even grievous ones. That one punch had rendered me a pacifist. I only fought when I was backed into a corner and had to or suffer injury. I'd learned my lesson.
          I ran into the two of them months after they'd married and was greeted like an old friend. We talked small talk, the three of us, and had a few laughs. I walked away actually feeling high. He'd forgiven me. But we were 16 years older and had done a lot of living and growing in the mean time.
          We would meet accidently here and there and catch up and always promise to get together for a few beers. We lived about 2 miles apart. But he had a son and I had two. he had a job and I sometimes had two.
          And we never had that beer. We meant to. But we never did.
          I ran into him in a grocery store and he'd lost weight and was looking really good. I told him so. He patted his chest. "Yeah, well, I had an issue with the ticker. The old lady's been relentless. I had to get healthier."
          I responded with tales of my weight loss from changing my diet due to diabetes. We agreed we'd better hurry up and have that beer before something fatal happened. Haha.
          You know where I'm going with this. He died at the age of 53, a year ago last Christmas, on December 10th, 2010. I was driving by his house. I saw the ambulance as I passed by, but thought it was in his neighbor's driveway.
          A heart attack. His second. "an issue with the ticker". I didn't know how bad an issue. Maybe he didn't believe it himself.
          So we'd made nice and were friends again, thought well of each other. I was forgiven. But I wanted that conversation. I had told him three times, months apart, after my punch, that I was very sorry. I wanted to tell him I still was and had always been. I wanted to have a couple of beers to lube us up so we could talk again like brothers, like we grew up talking.
          I stood and cried and told a shorter version of the story at his funeral, wanting others to know they shouldn't wait another day if they were in a similar situation. And I told his parents and all around us how we'd set his backyard on fire playing with gasoline and were throwing sand from the sandbox on it while we saw his father reading the paper at the table through the dining room window. Things brothers might do.
          And I drank two beers at the wake and water or coffee the rest of the time, watching over his bereft son and his widow, my friend, as they became inebriated. They drove together and had a second vehicle at home, so I stayed sober and, at the end of it all, insisted on driving them home safely. His son sat across from me, having just found out I'd dated his mom before his dad knew her. And I told him stories of his mom as a girl, how our dating never went too far, how she was a good girl- too good for what I had in mind, how his grandmother, a judge, was such a wonderful ball-buster (she'd passed). And I told him about his dad as a child, about who he was and how we were.
          And I got them home safely. It was the least I could do.

          And I owed it to Greg.

          I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

          by Gentle Giant on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:30:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site