"...there will never be a day when I won't think of you..."-Andrew Lloyd Webber
I haven't seen or spoken to one of my brothers in more than 20 years. The reason why is as big a mystery to me as to anyone who might read this. I think he got furious with me that I upset our parents over something that had nothing whatsoever to do with him, and so he decided not to speak to me ever again. I have three children he has never met. When he had his first child, I decided to offer up an olive branch even though I knew I had done nothing wrong to deserve his treatment of me, and put together a package of things for his new baby daughter and mailed it off to him. I knew how much I had changed just from having my children and thought perhaps his heart might have melted, too. I never heard back from him, not a thank you, nothing.
I have another brother who cut ties with everyone in the family when my parents disapproved of an older woman he was involved with. This was approximately 15 years ago. I had moved away with my own family at the time and so my connection to him was always through them and when he cut them off I guess he threw me in there as well because in my world that's just the way it goes. I guess we're considered a package deal and so we were all severed together.
I spend a lot of time trying not to think about this, and about what it means to me because it's very difficult to accept, at least for me, that I could be so easily erased from the lives of my brothers. I never tell anyone about them either because how do I explain the reasons why when I don't know them myself? It's this secret sorrow of mine that the world knows nothing about, but I might feel better if I write it down, if I try to let it go. I grew up in a family of people who never discussed difficult things, so that was the norm for me. My parents must know how awful I feel knowing that both of my brothers live their lives as though I do not exist and yet they say nothing. It just never gets mentioned because it's the appearance of happiness that's most important in our world. Nobody does surface-level-living like we do.
Here's something you should know about me: I am good at learning to live without people that I love because I think of it in terms of completing a task. I set my emotions aside and do the work involved in meeting the goal. It's only in the quiet of the night or on holidays or when I know it's their birthdays that I allow myself to feel the loss I know I've learned to live with so well. I wonder how they are. I wonder if they ever think of me.
Today I was wasting time on FACEBOOK and decided to type in my brothers names to see if I could find them. I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me to do this before, but it hasn't. I could not find the brother who cut ties with everyone, but I did find a picture of my other brother. He looks nothing like I remember and yet I see my mother's face in him. I felt a mean little thought about how time has been kinder to me than it has been to him and then I stopped thinking that because I should know better by now than to be so spiteful.
It does feel better writing this all down. It doesn't change anything, but it does feel freeing to some degree.
Here's something else you should know: My brothers missed out on knowing and loving someone fabulous.