Thursday, February 12, 2009

Brothers: Part One

This is the first part of a brief series on brothers. I will explore the fraternal relationship through personal experiences. This is written mostly for me, but you may learn and love, too.

I have two brothers. Jake, my blood brother, is one year and fifty-four days younger than I am. Adam, my step-brother, is a few years older than me. Jake and I have been close our whole lives. We both look alike, and because of our closeness in age, we were each others' best friend. Needless to say, we have always loved each other dearly.

There is something about brothers, particularly young brothers, that want to get into trouble. Being the elder brother, I was usually the one punished more severely, though I like to think I was being protective. One time when we were around 5-6 years old we got caught playing with fire under the bed. We lighting things on fire and watching them burn, awed and amazed. That was the only time I was ever whipped by my Uncle Brian. Suffice it to say it was not pleasant.

Me and Jake would ride our bikes to town and we had our own code language for staying safe on the roads. A "Code Red" was a car coming from in front of us, and a "Code Blue" was a car coming from behind. We would ride around and yell out our Codes, and we were always safe.

We spent many hours in the woods behind our home. We would choreograph lightsaber battles and perform them to our mom. We would dig holes. Giant, monstrous holes. One measured 10'x6'x4', and it was all dug with a shovel. That was our burning pit. We blew up everything we could there. We built a two story structure out of our neighbor's surplus timber (he owned a saw mill) and burned it to the ground.

It may seem that my brother and I were just mischievous pyromaniacs, but that's not entirely representative. We were both actually good kids. We had a good name in the community, especially once we got old enough to work in the tobacco, hay, and straw fields.

Me and Jake have always been close. Once I went to college, though, our relationship faded a bit. We were 120 miles away, and I had a girlfriend, now my wife, that I was infatuated with. Jake, too, was busy, and so our time together was not as much. I miss our closeness, and if I think about it too much I get a little emotional. I cannot describe how much I love my brother, but I would do anything for him. As the older brother, I think it is my responsibility to look after him, but I'm pretty sure he could take me any time he wanted. He has always been stronger and a smidgen taller.

There is a distance between us now, but it comes from me being in college for 5 years straight and Jake being in the Army since he turned 17. I wish we had the opportunity to hang out and play Nintendo like we used to, to go camping back in the woods, to go to the movies, to stay up and watch tv until 4 in the morning. I hope that in the very near future we are able to get together more and do stuff like brothers should.

Brothers are more than blood related kin. Brothers are more than best friends, even. A brother is someone you grow to love, respect, and worry about, someone you can spend time with easily, and someone you enjoy being around. If you have someone like this in your life, thank God for this person and spend time together.


marky said...

That was beautiful. Yer a good man. I hope you boys get to kick it long as fire isn't involved that is!

Sailor Matt said...

What great memories you have! My sister and I have never really seen eye-to-eye, and now our relationship is strained by her random acts of lunacy. The bond you share with your brother is a true gift!

What are your brother's career intentions regarding the Army? Starting in August, he should be elibible for the new Montgomery GI Bill which will effectively pay for his college and provide living expenses (unless he's married w/kids... then it gets tougher).

logankstewart said...

Matt, my brother is actually trying to switch from the Reserves to the Marines. I'm not really sure how much of that he's signed and agreed upon, but I think he wants to go active in whatever he does.

As for the GI Bill, he did his AIT training in electronics and stuff, and he one time expressed an interest in electrical engineering, but I'm not sure anymore. He's been married for almost a year and he's got a kid on the way! But I'll have to ask him about going to college.