Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Brother


I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.  It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.  Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.  ~Maya Angelou

This quote by the ever eloquent, Maya Angelou sums up my relationship with my brother to a tee.

Will is 34 months younger than I.  My Mom tells me that when she was pregnant with me people would often ask me if I wanted a baby brother or a baby sister, I guess this confused me, as when Will was born I ran around the house saying, "I've got a new baby brother sister". Our relationship flourished from there...

Actually, I joke, but Will and I grew up getting along about as well as cats and dogs. I am sure we are responsible for many a grey hair on my Mom's head (if she had any, she and I are redheads for life, no grey here, baby). She tells us she seriously used to lose sleep at night worrying that we would ever have any kind of relationship. 

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega

However, when things were really bad or something that shook us to our core was going on we only wanted each other. When Will went to England for culinary school, and was feeling a bit of culture shock, he begged me to come over and see him.  I could list countless examples of when we only wanted the other one by our side.  Even during these times, however, things weren't always "easy" between us. 

We were always siblings, we had to work to become friends. After a lifetime of struggling with this I can say my brother and I could not be any closer. I observed as Will had so many female friends that thought the world of him and were friends of his for a very long time. I often wondered to myself, "what is it they see, that I don't?"  I am not sure what finally happened.  I think it was just a gradual process of us growing together and realizing as different as we had always tried to make it seem, we really weren't that different after all.  I think Will likes to say we "met in the middle" (hey, to all the Republicans and Democrats out there, if we can do it, anyone can...)

Will is a wonderful brother. He is loving, kind, caring, supportive and most importantly I know he is there for me, no matter what. It is an amazing feeling. Of course, I feel the exact same way. He has had his struggles in life, been dealt a pretty tough hand at times, and I was never there for him.  I am sure he will either say I was, or that he shut me out, either way he will try to make me feel better, because that is just Will. But I wasn't. I am now and I always will be.

Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.  ~Susan Scarf Merrell


9 comments:

Darkwulfe said...

I have a brother. We love an hate each other all the time! There is nobody I would rather go through hell with then my brother. He is a jackass (and proudly so I might add) but he is still my brother. I am a liberal hippy tree hugger in his book, but we are brothers and always best of friends...even when we are the worst of enemies! We are opposites but all that means nothing in the end because we will always be there for each other. I totally get this post, it is a great post and you are lucky to have each other!

Will Shealy said...

Mandy, I'll have to blog a response to this when I'm less exhausted. But what you just said here means more to me than you can know. Love you sis. I'm proud to call you my friend.

Iris Silk said...

I will never forget the family counselor we had who told Will that it would be okay if he and his sister never got along since she and her brother never did. I wanted to strangle her. She's probably working at Wal=Mart now. BTW, I love you both very much. Mom

3 Men and a Lady said...

Aww that was so nice. I have 3 brother's, one of whom I just have a hard time getting along with for various reasons. Good to see there is hope :-)

lesleehorner said...

3 Men and a Lady took the words right out of my mouth. This gives me hope that I can pull things together with my sisters. We're currently at opposite ends of the spectrum, but hopefully soon we will find our way to the middle....

Jay said...

That was a very nice post Mandy. My sister and I never really got along until we became adults too. Now we get along great.

Will's a good guy. And he's lucky to have a great sister like you.

Doc said...

Amazing how we torture our siblings growing up but wouldn't change them for the world.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

It makes me sad that my brother and I will never be close - there is just too much to that story, so I love it that you and your brother have such a great relationship. I am trying to foster that same sort of relationship with my biological sister who I just met a couple of years ago. She is great...We're both sad for all the years we missed with one another.

Anonymous said...

Will? Is nice? Are you sure?

HA! You know I love that guy.

This was very nice.

-Bethy