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)

6 comments:

  1. Kim--Yeah, I'm sure it was ONLY you two little kids that kept Terry from scoring with the ladies. I'm sure it was NOT his attitude...

    It was delightful hearing about your family and the care your older brothers gave you two. Yes, 70 (now) is still young. Years ago, 40 was ancient...I wonder how that happened. ;)

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  2. What a tribute to your brothers. Now you have me thinking about who had the greatest impact on me in my childhood. You've lit a fire under me, and I shall write. Thanks.

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  3. I love this - especially since it's from the perspective of the younger sibling. I'm the oldest in my family of 5 kids. There is a gap of 12 years between me and the youngest. I too was the "parent" in a lot of ways. I did a lot of diaper changes and made dinner and helped them with homework.
    I love them like they're my own almost :)

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  4. What wonderful memories they gave you. I was closer in age to my brothers. I so enjoyed reading about yours and the attention they gave you. What a wonderful tribute to them. Yeah, 70 is nothing anymore... Congrats to them surviving cancer, as well!

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  5. Wow! My siblings really completed my childhood too. What an amazing picture you have of the four of you. It perfectly represents your post!

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    1. My younger brother sent me the pic on Facebook for my birthday. I didn't have any pictures of the five of us together, so it's extra special.

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!