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