by Terri Wagner
Whenever I hear the phrase, "You don't get to pick your relatives," I always laugh inside thinking, well actually, yes, you do. How exactly that works I can't say, I don't remember, there's a veil in my way, but I know we can thin the veil at times to feel a certain affinity for one relative that we don't have with the others. That affinity seems to be there from the beginning here on earth.
My affinity is with my brother. I can’t tell you why. He was born on a rainy Saturday morning on July 4, 1964 on an Air Force base, making him an official nephew of his Uncle Sam. He was the long-awaited boy. I had a sister so I was thrilled I got a brother; somehow I just knew it’d be better.
From the moment he came home from the hospital (he stayed there a bit longer than most since he was one sick little fellow), I adored him. And he me. And that hasn’t changed. My sister-in-law was terrified to meet me before they married because, as she put it, I was his second mom, and he listened to every word I said. If I didn’t like her, tough potatoes, she would be dropped.
I have my doubts about that, but the truth is, I like her too, so much so, that at one time I lived with them for about 4 months while going to school.
Recently, we all went to Las Vegas on vacation together. He and I got up early (for Vegas) and roamed the streets together, hardly saying a word.
That’s probably my favorite part about my brother. He just doesn’t talk that much. My mom chatters incessantly; my dad can wax on about any subject under the sun; my sister never has been one to hold back; I’m in-between, but my brother is like a quiet, peaceful, deep pool of water. I’m grateful for him.
Knowing that we were meant to be family and that it lasts for eternity gives me a warm wonderful feeling inside, so much so that I can handle the others I’m not quite so fond of. As I often remind myself, there's a world of difference between loving someone and liking someone. And in his case, both feelings are there in great depth.