I love my brother. We're eight years apart in age, and were never terribly close, but I still love him immensely. When our parents divorced my mother got custody of me, and my father got custody of my brother. That just killed me. How does one explain to a four-year old why both men she idolizes-- her father and brother-- are leaving her? The experience definitely shaped how I viewed relationships with men as I grew older, but I think I've finally come to grips with that, and with the fear of abandonment that incited my behavior.
He still lives in NJ, not far from where our Mom lived. I told him how much my house cost and he nearly had a heart attack ;)
I remember the much-beloved Fisher-Price boat he got me when I was little (out of his own money!) and when he and I would go outside when our parents were fighting (which was always) and the cool clubhouse he had set up in the loft in the garage that I always wanted to play in (but usually wasn't allowed to-- which made it all the more tempting).
He bought me Jethro Tull's Warchild, my first "real" rock and roll record album, when I was twelve or thirteen*. I thought it was kinda of weird at the first listen, but it grew on me and undoubtedly shaped my tastes in music forever.
He played bass in a rock and roll band-- several, actually-- but this most recent one broke up. Bummer. I know how much he enjoyed it. He's kind of funny... he's born again (but you'd never guess it in a million years) and won't play Highway to Hell, but will play a lot of other stuff that makes reference to the devil more obliquely. He tries to live his life in line with his beliefs, though, and I respect him for that so very much.
He recently bought a sailboat and named it Says Marjorie after our Mom :) He invited me to visit this summer**, and offered me the sailboat to stay on overnight. Dave (that'd be my brother) and I both got our love of boating from our Dad, who would often take us on his boat up the Hudson river. His boat is now located in the same Jersey shore town our Dad's last boat was.
He doesn't talk much, my brother... and trying to get him to use a phone once in awhile is nearly impossible (my Dad and I joke about this often), but we always share a few laughs when we finally do get to talk.
I'm rambling, I know.
It's a beautiful day. I think I'll grab a bite to eat w/ Mr. E and go fly a kite.
* Someone got me a big orange crayola crayon candle that birthday, and I still associate that record with the scent of oranges.
** It would be awesome if we could get Mom's sister and brother to join us... unfortunately, we don't know where Uncle Robbie disappeared to.