An Open Letter To My Brother

An Open Letter To My Brother

There was a time in our lives when I felt loved by you.  I was a child then, unable to understand the differences between half and step, full or adopted.  I knew you didn’t live with us, that you were only there on weekends, not even every weekend.  But in my little mind that was normal, and you were my brother just like our sister who was always there.  I knew you had another mom, and I think I knew that Dad used to be married to her, but none of that really made sense to me.  I thought you loved me because I was your baby sister.

As I got older Dad told me that before he knew my mom he was in love with yours.  He told me how your mom and he adopted you and our older sister because they couldn’t have babies of their own.  He explained how sometimes two adults stop loving each other, but that he never stopped loving you or big sister.  He didn’t have to tell me that last part, I never doubted that.  I began to understand that ‘technically’ you are my half brother because we shared the same father.  I never considered you anything other than my brother, I didn’t know any other kind of brother.   

Being the naive and selfish little brat I was, I never considered your point of view.  When your mother and our father divorced, Dad got remarried to my mother.  Before long, our other sister was born and nineteen months after that I came along.  Even when I was old enough, I didn’t realize how this may have made you feel.  I didn’t know that perhaps you saw me as a replacement, as though Dad’s first try at having kids wasn’t enough.  It never crossed my mind that all those days and nights you weren’t at our house, you may have wondered why Dad chose us over you, even if it wasn’t quite that simple.  

I’ve spent years wondering why there’s so much distance between us and not the physical kind.  You’ve said hurtful things to me about being bitter that I got to grow up with Dad.  I’ve said hurtful things to you in defense of Dad.  It broke my heart that you didn’t see in me what I always saw in you, and it broke my heart that you seemed to hold a grudge against a man I watched make sacrifice after sacrifice on your behalf.  I still cannot see it from your perspective, nor can you see it from mine.  

I fear the rifts we’ve carved and mountains we’ve built in the time and space of misunderstanding and lack of communicating are too deep and too high to traverse.  I fear I am the only one of us who might care to try.  I wonder if anybody realizes aside from me that Dad is the glue that holds us siblings together?  You and our eldest sister only keep in touch with one another.  I barely keep in touch with our other sister.

I am experiencing possibly the most difficult fight of my life, for my life right now, and none of you even know.  I realize that ultimately there isn’t anything any of you could do to change my situation, but I’m not sure you care either.  We are all strangers now, tied together by the kindest man I’ve ever known, and I’m proud to call him Dad.  But Dad won’t live forever, and then we will just be strangers who all live in different parts of the country.  I could be wrong.  But there have been countless times when I’ve needed or wanted my brother; to be there, to talk to, to care, to advise me… We both know how often those desires were realized.  

Maybe it’s me.  Perhaps I have failed as the baby sister.  Could I have reached out more?  Could I have told you more times in more ways that I thought you hung the moon?  Should I have reminded you a millionth time that I felt more connected to you than anyone else in our family?  No, I couldn’t.  My hypersensitive emotions could no longer bear your rejections.  You’ve said you love me, and maybe in your own way you do.  But when Daddy’s glue is gone one day, I fear any semblance of a relationship between us will be too.       

NanoPoblano2015 | NaBloPoMo15
Day 14

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15 thoughts on “An Open Letter To My Brother

  1. It’s sad but true that it’s the parents who glue the family unit together. It’s even sadder that sometimes when the parents are gone the glue becomes unglued and the units drift apart.
    My parents are gone now, 6 years for Mom and almost 3 for dad. It was mom who held us together. It was mom that we got together at Christmas, birthdays and Thanksgiving for.
    My brother *sigh*. I love him, I do, but some days I just don’t feel like he loves me. He’ll call sometimes, usually when he wants something but not always.
    He lives a half hour away, but it might as well be a million miles.
    I have all but given up on reaching out to him because it feels like any effort on my part is rebuffed by that little thing called an ignore button.
    Bright spot :). I was going through my digital pix this morning looking for something and came across the Christmas pictures the second year after Mom died. There was one there of just him and dad which I sent on to him. I felt better for having shared something he so obviously had a part of. The thought of him responding or even thanking me didn’t even cross my mind, but he did thank me :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that with me, it makes me feel a little better about my brother seemingly not caring about me. He has always held a grudge against my mom, I guess because my dad chose her over his mom, so our dad is the only thing that keeps us together. The only time we get together is funerals and weddings, not even holidays. I thought my brother was the coolest guy EVER, and then he made it clear to me that the feeling was not reciprocated. It took a long time for me to accept that and move on. He did come to my wedding, I was the last to get married (well, he’s still single), but I knew I wouldn’t hear from him after. Who knows when I’ll see him again?

      Again, thank you for sharing, it means a lot to me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is heartbreaking. Dad was the glue that held our family together as well. He has been gone for over 7 years. For the first 9 years of my life my sister and I werethisclose. Then circumstance drove a wedge between us. Dad always brought out our best. Now, my sister and her 5 children live with my mom. When I visit my mom, sis and I can go days without speaking, in the same house. It was worse when BIL was alive. At least much of the tension is gone, now. I hope you are able to at least rubber cement your relationship with your brother. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Families can be so hard to navigate. Personally, for several reasons, I’ve had to create and maintain a huge distance from my family. Sometimes, no matter how much you may love someone, when the relationship is toxic, it’s better to grieve and move on. I hope you will be able to find a healing place in your relationship with your siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartbreakingly beautiful words. You so intelligently acknowledge your siblings’ different points of view and the reasons for how it is. Maybe this will change, maybe it will not. Hold that love, keep it alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s NEVER too late! Keep trying to do all you can to bring your family together. You will never know the importance of that until one of them is gone. Fortunately, for me, we were all on good terms when my sister left us bereft. But her passing has bonded my brothers and myself more fiercely than I ever imagined possible given our vast differences and the distance between us. I am so thankful for it. Keep pushing, keep asking, NEVER GIVE UP!!

    Peace,
    C

    Liked by 1 person

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