"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 a touch of time." - Clara Ortega.
"We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws." - Rose Macaulay.
At the start of the year, I was thinking about this as I wrote down some things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal and found myself giving thanks for my brother.
Rob, 3 years younger than me, has a unique and precious place in my life and heart --tomorrow is his birthday. Our lives have run parallel for 68 years.
There is a set of photos taken on a summer's day, long ago. They always make me smile and also feel sorry for having been such a meanie. Rob was having so much fun until I came along!
We had our share of sibling rivalry growing up, but now it is rare for more than a few days to go by without one of us calling the other even though we have lived on different continents for so many years.
We can talk for an hour about the most menial details of our lives, and they are important enough to keep us interested.
In Rob, I have someone to whom I could confide anything and know that he will tell me the truth in return, yet not judge.
He is intuitive, sensitive and instinctively knows my heart, for good or bad. Sometimes he knows what I think before I express it in words.
We are different in personality and outlook on life, yet we share a history no one else does; our childhood; and family dynamics.
I sometimes measure the quality of whatever I am writing by how Rob might read it. He doesn't enjoy writing, but he is gifted in drawing and has the ability to describe a scene in a movie so well verbally that when you actually see it, you recognize every detail and experience deja vu.
Once long ago he said to me, "I sometimes feel that I just haven't done enough for other people." I reminded him of all that he means to me.