Thursday, March 4, 2010
We were born six years apart. Too many to allow for ordinary companionship. There might have been hero worship on his part. I never really knew. I was given to athletic pursuits, he was to a far lesser degree. It never occurred to me that that situation might have bothered him. We cared about each other but were never really close. That was far more my doing than his although the situation was not consciously developed. He simply was too young to be an ongoing part of my daily plans.
My father seemed to fear that I had a latent desire, perhaps due to sibling rivalry, to do some bodily harm to my brother. It was not true, though rough play may have led to the suspicion on my father's part. The only result of his concern was that it led me to believe that he cared for my brother far more than he cared for me.
I became philosophical in that regard and never really developed a relationship with my father. I was very wary of anything i said or did where my brother was concerned. I became a loner, relying very little on both of my parents. I was somewhat closer to my mother.
Life passed, our relationship grew no closer. He attained some considerable recognition in his field. His success pleased me greatly but I did not lavish praise on him. I never have been able to express deep feelings without becoming maudlin, and embarrassed. I discovered, after many years had passed, that he craved my adulation far more than I could have imagined. His need and my inability to satisfy it led to a gulf that developed between us.
Almost a lifetime has elapsed without either of us bridging the gap. But recent events and the wisdom of years has led to each of us reaching for the other. The reaching has led to a better understanding and an acceptance of our individuality. At long last, I believe that we have become friends and not just brothers.
We have a way to travel before all the barriers are removed but the wall has been breached. Whether we will be granted the years to remove all constraints is questionable, but it really is not a matter of great importance. We live many miles apart. That may change, but the physical proximity is not of prime importance thanks to the telephone.
It was always true, but now I can call my brother and say, "I love you."