He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother

There are very few people that I feel safe with. VERY few. Three have died. One divorced me. So that leaves even fewer than when I started out on this life journey.

One of them sat in the rocking chair next to where I sat on the sofa. My little brother.

He once asked me “Why have you never written in your blog about me?” He’s read how I wrote about our baby brother and others in my life. But never him. Just why is that?

Here’s the truth: I don’t remember too much from our childhood together. Like…next to nothing. I remember my little brother as a “presence” in my life. He’s always been there – I knew that much. But don’t remember the day to day living. That is scary to me. I don’t remember much at all.

This is what I do remember. He was the one always on the sidelines. The one always right on the outside of the circle. I can always see him out of the corner of my eye. Always there but not always in the midst of things.

I remember our Aunt Ivy rocking my little brother when he was about 6 months old. She raised her feet up and it scared him. He screamed for hours. I remember around the same time someone wrecked their car in a hole down the street where they were repairing a gas line. We were staying that night with our Aunt Ivy while Mom and Dad went out and the entire side of our street had to be evacuated because of this accident. I remember standing on the sidewalk. I was about 6 or so and was scared to death for our little crew standing out there afraid the whole block was going to explode and go up in smoke.

I don’t remember all the years we lived together. We went to church together for years every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night, yet I don’t remember a single one. I don’t remember us getting up every morning and getting ready for school. I don’t remember any of it. I look at old pictures and I know they happened. But I don’t remember the actual making of it.

But what I DO remember is HOW I felt around him.

Safe. Always safe.

Knowing he was right where I could reach out and touch him. Ever on the sidelines…but within my reach.

Feeling safe is such a big deal to me. And I think that is such a good life quality to have. When I die, I hope at least one person says about me “When I was with her, I always felt safe.” But it’s hard to be the safety net when you feel like the bottom is always just about to drop out. Truth is, you have to be able to save yourself before you will be able to save someone else. Something for me to think about…

But in the midst of it all, I still know that my little brother may be hundreds of miles away but is still only a phone call or a text away. On the sidelines but still within my reach.

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