Jul 10, 2007

Our Little Yankee Doodle Dandy

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.

It was.

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.


  1. Terri:
    I really like your entry. What great writing. It really touched me. I like quiet people too. You can just be with them and think. My Eliot was almost a Yankee Doodle Dandy too. I was in labor all 4th of July but he didn't arrive until early on the 6th. Ha. Great entry.

  2. Terri,

    I enjoyed your entry. Two summers ago, my sister and I were sealed to my parents (my dad never joined the Church) in the St George temple, wih my mom's sister standing proxie for my mom. Not only was a thrilled to be sealed to my parents, but I can't express what it means to me to be sealed to my sister, too. All those pillows and plaques that say "Forever Sisters" have taken on a whole new meaning.

    Now, if only we could get my brother back to the temple to join our "Forever Family".

  3. My dad was almost a Yankee Doodle boy, but he came a day early, born July 3, 1881. Mother was born January 3, 1886, and they were married October 3, 1907, half way between. I'm their youngest child. Dad's been gone forty-five years now, but I never forget his birthday--nor Mother's. She had died a year earlier than he.

    I've watched my own kids pair off in close togetherness that expands over the years, but still remains. My greatest joy is that all my kids like each other. It may not always have been the case, but there's lots of love there now. It's my husband and I, however, who can sit quietly for hours, just being comfortable. We also communicate in half sentences, knowing immediately from the beginning how the sentence will end.

    Thanks, Terri, for reminding me of my blessings as I enjoy reading of yours. Great job!


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