April 23, 2015

Three on a Pedestal

Mama Kat provides the inspiration today:

Write about someone who made your childhood bearable

When I was a kid, I never missed not having a sister (that came later). I was fortunate to have brothers - FOUR brothers. In a house with ONE bathroom.

But it wasn't as overwhelming as you'd think. My older brothers were a lot older, and were grown and gone when my younger brother and I were still in elementary school.

When I was little, they changed diapers and took care of me and my brother. They were parental figures when our parents were at work, and kept us fed and spoiled us. I have so many fond memories of the care that each one of them gave to us.

I learned so much from them (like how to whistle, blow bubbles with gum, and tie my shoes), and missed them so much when they went into the military and started their lives without us.

They got married and had babies. I love being an aunt and a sister-in-law.

My oldest brother, Stan, was god-like in my eyes. Serious and hardworking, he was the typical oldest child. I adored him. I fondly remember when he came home on leave from the Air Force (I think I was four), and he spent all of his pay on me and Greg. We got a spring horse, and cowboy hats and cap guns and holsters (it's no surprise that I was a tomboy).

I kept him on a pedestal - even now, he's my go-to guy for life advice. 

I remember when I was 15, he turned 30, and I thought he was so OLD. That year when he and his family visited us at Christmas, he insisted that my younger brother and I watch The Christmas Carol because he thought us ungrateful - that's the year I considered moving him from the #1 position...but I decided to give him another chance, like he did for me again and again.

Now? The older I get, the older OLD gets. I think he's lookin' pretty fly for a guy in his 70s.

Then, there's Gary. He's kind and funny, and has always been a dapper dresser. He's quick with a witty retort and I don't think I've ever seen him in a bad mood. He and Stan have both survived cancer and did it with such style and grace. 

Terry, ten years my senior, was always the wild child. He was my least favorite babysitter as he seemed to take a lot of pleasure in tormenting the kids "who kept him from getting laid" (as he told me on a Father's Day visit years ago). I guess we cramped his style.

My older brothers made life better at our house. And though we all live far apart now that we're all old, they still make my life pretty sweet.

L to R (the big guys): Terry, Gary, Stan
On top of the world: Greg and Me
(This picture proves that my hair has had a mind of its own for over 50 years)