Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brother Bill

He looks like our father. He has our father's mannerisms. He sounds like our father. But thank the gods, he is not our father. He is Bill.

I am 6 years younger than he. I didn't interact with him much growing up. He was my big brother. The REALLY big one. I don't know what growing up was like for him. I got stories but I wasn't a part of them.

By the time I hit adulthood, he had children. We didn't talk much. We only saw each other at family gatherings.

But somewhere along the line, I really don't know where, we started talking. A little here, a little there. I think it was when I went to law school but I can't be sure.That's when we lost our mother.

I didn't know it but he was working very hard to get ahead and provide for a growing family. I was just trying to feed my daughter as best I could. He was focused on what he needed to do and I was focused on what I needed to do.

I would occasionally go to his house for a family get together. Then our father died. Then Bernie, his wife, died.

I wanted to help but I had no idea how to do that. I didn't know him. He was just my older brother that I loved.

But gradually, over the last few years, the phone began ringing a little more. I began hearing more about his travels, his golf game, his work. I began to get a glimmer of who he was.

And then Dan died.

That changed everything. I call Bill alot now. Just to say hi. I know the names of all of my grand nieces and nephews now. I tease him alot. And he is beginning to do the same. He calls. Just to say hi. He comes to my concerts.

It is a lot of fun getting to know your older brother.

And I never say goodbye without saying I love you.

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