My brother leaves home on Sunday. He’s off on an incredible adventure, taking a “Seamester” for three months. In a way, it marks his entrance into adulthood, as it’s unlikely he’ll ever come back home for good after this. Which is great. He’ll sail the world. He’ll get his captaincy. He’ll completely rock his awesome life.
But I can’t help being sad about this turning point in our lives.
Gabe was the kid who made me a big sister. And I’ve liked being the big sister. When he was an incredibly fat toddler, I did all the talking for him. He would cry and point, I would translate. Eventually they had to tell me to quit talking for him so he’d learn English on his own. When I was maybe five or six I got a porcelain tea set that I treasure above all things. Gabe and my cousin, Ben (who was living with us at the time), decided one day that it would be a good idea to use them for a game of bowling. My tea set was decimated. When I was eight, he rode along beside me on his tricycle as I learned to ride my bike, Elisha watching from the yard. He’s been my buddy. People often mistake us for twins. We crack jokes together. We have our own sibling language made up entirely of facial expressions. He’s my best friend, and one of only a few people that have experienced everything in life with me and truly “get” me. He’s seen me at my best and worst, and he’s redefined what siblinghood can really be, for me.
Of course, we’ve also hated each other at times. There were a couple years where I was convinced that we’d never be friends, that he would be a jerk forever (granted, it was somewhat two-sided, but I was ten. It was ALL his fault), that it wasn’t worth even trying to be nice to him. We’ve whacked each other over the head plenty of times. Fought over favorite toys. Typical sibling stuff. I got so mad at him one time, I sprayed windex all over his shirt. In retrospect, I’m glad my parents convinced us it WAS worth working on. I can’t imagine not having him around now.
I’m not going to make this too long. It just needed out. In the end, I’d like to say that I’m glad this young man is my brother. We had an awesome childhood, and I think it’s incredibly cool that he’s one of my best friends. Lastly, I’m crazy proud of him for chasing his dreams and working his butt off these past months for them. It’s a privilege to get to see him set off on this new stage of life, and to be doing the same on my end simultaneously. I’m gonna miss him. There’s so much more I want to say, stories I want to tell. I can’t find the words right now.
I maybe cried a little bit when we said goodbye. Which made him feel awkward. I rarely cry.